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International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances

The United Nations (UN) observes the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances on August 30 each year.

Mothers at Bolivar Square in Bogota, Colombia, holding photos of their children, who are victims of enforced disappearance.

©iStockphoto.com/jcarillet

What Do People Do?

On August 30 each year, organizations such as the UN and Amnesty International play an active role in raising awareness that enforced disappearance is a crime and should not be used as a tool to deal with situations of conflict. Many activists openly share personal stories, via the media or public event, about victims of enforced disappearances and the impact that these disappearances have on their families and communities.

Public Life

The International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances is a UN observance and not a public holiday.

Background

Enforced disappearance is used as a strategy to spread terror within the society. It occurs when people are arrested, detained or abducted against their will and when governments refuse to disclose the whereabouts of these people. Enforced disappearance is a global problem and is not restricted to a specific region of the world.

In December 2010, the UN officially declared that it would annually observe the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances on August 30 each year, starting from 2011.

World Day of Victims of Enforced Disappearance Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2015SunAug 30World Day of Victims of Enforced DisappearanceUnited Nations observance
2016TueAug 30World Day of Victims of Enforced DisappearanceUnited Nations observance
2017WedAug 30World Day of Victims of Enforced DisappearanceUnited Nations observance
2018ThuAug 30World Day of Victims of Enforced DisappearanceUnited Nations observance
2019FriAug 30World Day of Victims of Enforced DisappearanceUnited Nations observance
2020SunAug 30World Day of Victims of Enforced DisappearanceUnited Nations observance
2021MonAug 30World Day of Victims of Enforced DisappearanceUnited Nations observance
2022TueAug 30World Day of Victims of Enforced DisappearanceUnited Nations observance
2023WedAug 30World Day of Victims of Enforced DisappearanceUnited Nations observance
2024FriAug 30World Day of Victims of Enforced DisappearanceUnited Nations observance
2025SatAug 30World Day of Victims of Enforced DisappearanceUnited Nations observance

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