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* ICRC in Sri Lanka to begin a needs assessment of families of missing persons next month
Thu, Aug 7, 2014, 11:26 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Aug 07, Colombo: The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Sri Lanka will begin a needs assessment of families of missing persons in September, according to the National Plan of Action for the Implementation of LLRC Recommendations.

The primary objective of the Family Needs Assessment (FNA) is to support ongoing efforts by the Sri Lankan government to identify areas for improvement through resource mapping in order to formulate recommendations for implementation.

"This FNA programme will support the Government to streamline its policy for these specific victims of the conflict, said Protection Coordinator of the ICRC in Colombo Ms. Gwenaelle Fontana.

The survey, which will initially consist of a representative sample from ICRC's list of missing persons, is expected to take up to one year to complete, after which ICRC will present a report to the Government.

In keeping with Recommendations 9.48* and 9.50* of the Report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, together with the ICRC, continues to collaborate on addressing the issue of alleged disappearances, which includes studying practical methodologies adopted by other countries. Issues pertaining to families of persons identified as "missing" or "disappeared" will be addressed via a mechanism to implement the findings of the FNA.

Additionally, Recommendation 9.51 of the LLRC Report suggests the implementation of a centralized system of data collection at the national level, integrating all information with regard to missing persons. The FNA will help fulfil this recommendation by providing a detailed view of the needs of families of missing persons.

The FNA will be a comprehensive program in which officials will work with families and examine their needs in order to help them better integrate into the society. It will build a network of solidarity between the Government and the communities through which different needs could be addressed.

The proposal for the FNA was presented to the Sri Lankan Government by the ICRC and the Sri Lanka Red Cross earlier this year and was approved by the Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga who is responsible for monitoring the implementation of the LLRC recommendations.

"The ICRC is very happy that the Sri Lankan Government approved the proposal, and we look forward to doing our best, Ms. Fontana said.

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