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Solving the problem of missing persons during the conflict in Ukraine through joint efforts of all sides

The PACE Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons, meeting in Bishkek (Kirghizstan), has expressed its concern at the growing number of cases of missing persons reported in the areas of military action in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine as well as in Crimea.

The report by Jim Sheridan (United Kingdom, SOC), adopted today by the committee, states that, according to the information provided by the Security Service of Ukraine, 1 330 persons were registered as missing since April 2014. The missing persons include not only soldiers but also civilians, including volunteers who were assisting the population in the conflict areas. The adopted text says that it is difficult to determine their whereabouts and their fate as most of them remain in the territories controlled by the separatist groups.

The committee believes that this humanitarian problem can only be solved through the joint efforts of all sides of the conflict and urges Ukraine, the Russian Federation and the separatist groups controlling the occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk region to “share information on the fate and whereabouts of missing persons" and to take steps to help families to find and identify the remains of their loved one’s.

At the same time, the Ukrainian authorities should co-ordinate the work of all governmental and non-governmental bodies dealing with this problem, including the work of various volunteer and human rights organisations.