Virtually every country in the world is affected by the tragedy of people who have gone missing during past or ongoing armed conflicts and other situations of violence. While it is difficult to provide exact figures, especially in countries with ongoing conflicts, these are some statistics relating to the number of people missing because of armed conflict or violence:

1. In the SOUTHERN CAUCASUS region 7,500 people have been reported missing in different armed conflicts (see reference 1)

2. In the WESTERN BALKANS (Albania and the former Yugoslavia) more than 14,000 people remain unaccounted for since the 1990s (see reference 2)

3. In COLOMBIA at least 79,000 people are estimated to be missing as a result of the armed conflict and other circumstances (See reference 3)

4. In GUATEMALA 45,0004 people went missing as a result of the internal armed conflict, of which about 40,000 are still unaccounted for (see reference 4)

5. The number of missing persons in IRAQ from 2003 to 2013 ranges from 250,000 to up to one million according to different public sources (see reference 5)

6. The conflict in LEBANON saw 17,000 people go missing from 1975 to 1990, according to the Lebanese government (see reference 6)

7. In MEXICO over 28,000 people were unaccounted for by late 2015, according to the Mexican government (see reference 7)

8. During the decade-long non-international armed conflict in NEPAL (1996-2006) thousands of people were killed, and 1,337 individuals remain unaccounted for

9. In PERU 15,731 persons are still missing as a result of the conflict from 1980 to 2000 (see reference 8)

10. In SOUTH SUDAN over 10,0009 children have been registered as unaccompanied, separated or missing (see reference 9)

11. In SRI LANKA the ICRC has registered 16,000 people missing as a result of the conflict (see reference 10)


  1. Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Missing persons and victims of enforced disappearance in Europe, March 2016.
  2. Ibid.
  3. ICRC.
  4. Comisión para el Esclarecimiento Histórico, Guatemala: Memoria del silencio (Guatemala: Memory of the Silence), 1999.
  5. UN Human Rights Council, A/HRC/22/NGO/157.
  6. International Center for Transitional Justice, The Missing in Lebanon, January 2016 (based on government data issued in 1992).
  7. National Register of the Missing or Disappeared (RNPED).
  8. Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Documento de trabajo sobre las medidas adoptadas por diferentes sectores en relación a la Resolución AG/RES (XLI-O/11) «Las personas desaparecidas y la asistencia a sus familiares», Lima, 2012.
  9. UNOCHA, South Sudan Humanitarian Needs Overview 2016.
  10. ICRC, Living with Uncertainty: Needs of the Families of Missing Persons in Sri Lanka, July 2016.