There are around 20 000 missing persons in Europe following
a number of armed conflicts over recent decades. This problem is
still a major issue for many European States, where reconciliation
between former conflicting parties is hampered by the delay in investigating
the fate of thousands of missing persons.
This report provides an overview of the present situation
of missing persons and points out the principle reasons for Europe’s
failure to find a solution to this problem.
The families of missing persons should be placed at the centre
of all actions taken by governments, and approaches and initiatives
should be developed to ensure that they receive proper care and
support. Furthermore, as highlighted by the European Court of Human
Rights, families have the right to know what has happened to their
There is a strong need for European governments to speed up
the process of the exhumation and identification of the remains
of missing persons, and to bring the truth of their fate to family
and friends. The non-resolution of this problem is a potential danger
for European security.