I worked for The Salvation Army for many years in the role of the “Family Tracing Officer”, a Missing Person’s Bureau run by The Salvation Army. It was interesting work.
30 August is set aside by the United Nations as the International Day of the Disappeared, and it’s purpose is to draw attention to the fate of individuals imprisoned (in Latin-American countries mainly, but also wherever these things are a problem) at places and under poor conditions without the knowledge of their families and legal representatives.
The United Nations has a body which investigates this, but it is the NGO Amnesty International which is best known for this work. However, the work done by the UN is vital to many prisoners and their loved ones.
Additionally, this day is also a day for remembering anyone whose families have lost contact as the result of conflicts, natural disasters or other tragedies whether they are imprisoned, stranded, hospitalized or dead. Red Cross is best known for this sort of work.
My heart went out to the many people who contacted me over the years looking for lost loved ones. My heart still goes out to those who have lost contact with family members or close friends.