Home > Statements > To the Families of Victims Involuntary Disappearance (FIND) on its 25th Anniversary

To the Families of Victims Involuntary Disappearance (FIND) on its 25th Anniversary

AFAD Statement

23 November 2010, FIND’s Silver Anniversary

To the Families of Victims Involuntary Disappearance (FIND) on its 25th Anniversary

 

On behalf of the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD), we congratulate all the officers and members of Families of Victims Involuntary Disappearance (FIND) on the occasion of its Silver Anniversary.

 

Today is indeed a momentous occasion as this day proves how FIND has withstood the tests of time since its founding 25 years ago by eight families who were among the first victims of enforced disappearances during the Marcos regime.

 

You have successfully hurdled the difficult process of developing FIND from a group of eight families into a national mass organization that champions the cause of the families, relatives, friends and colleagues of the disappeared and surfaced victims in the fight against enforced disappearances, against impunity and for human dignity.  Thanks to the contribution of each and every member and officer of the organization and the rest of civil society, without which, you may never have today to witness.

 

FIND was instrumental in conceiving and giving birth to AFAD twelve years ago as a regional response to the global struggle against enforced disappearance.  Since then, AFAD and FIND have been working, not without difficulties, both collectively and individually.  Together, we struggled to help families of the victims overcome the anguish, anxiety and hardship brought upon them by the disappearance of their loved ones through psychosocial rehabilitation activities and other forms of social support to ensure empowerment and greater participation in the cause of the disappeared.  Through thick and thin, we were together to campaign and lobby for the establishment of legal mechanisms for protection nationally and internationally that aim to know the truth about the disappearance; to penalize the perpetrators; to provide justice including indemnification for victims and their families and eventually to end the practice of enforced disappearance as the cruelest form of human rights violation.

 

Concretely, it is significant to mention AFAD and FIND’s active participation in lobbying for the ratification of the Philippine Government  of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. We have been together in more ways than one in disseminating to the general public the importance of this treaty.  One of our recent major joint accomplishment is the production the video, “Unsilenced,” which depicts a very important victory of FIND in the struggle against impunity.  At the international level, under the International Coalition Against Enforced Disappearances (ICAED), we continue to work hard for the Convention’s entry into force and eventual universal implementation.

 

We are all aware that enforced disappearance is not only an issue of the families of the disappeared but also of the greater society.  It does not only leave an unhealed scar but a festering wound to the victims and their families and to the rest of humanity.   Only through social transformation that enforced disappearance and other forms of human rights violations can be completely erased from the face of the earth.  When society shall have been transformed, it is only then that no more family members – mothers, wives, brothers, sisters and children will have to suffer from the lingering pain brought about by this malady and that everyone can live a life free from fear and with dignity.

 

Let us continue to work together for the cause of the disappeared.  Together, let us join hands in working for the imminent the entry into force of the Convention, the signing and ratification of the Philippine and other governments for its universal implementation.  Corollary to this is the ever persevering hard work for the passage of the anti- enforced disappearance law in the Philippines.

 

Let us continue to be one in addressing the challenges that the present global and national situation poses to all of us as we continue to trek the path towards a world without desaparecidos.

 

MABUHAY KAYO and all the best in our common human rights work.

 

Signed and authenticated by:

 

 

MUGIYANTO, Chairperson

MARY AILEEN BACALSO, Secretary-General

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