The meaning behind the International Day of the Disappeared

Role of the UN in Protecting Human Rights of Women and Children


Today is the International Day of the Disappeared, a day that calls upon the government to disclose the status of people or groups that have "disappeared" or been taken for social reasons, political reasons, or other reasons that somehow violated human rights. More specifically, this day focuses on bringing justice to those who were involved in the disappearance of these groups and individuals.

Enforced disappearance has historically and strategically been used to spread terror, affecting loved ones of the people who "disappear" as well as surrounding communities and society as a whole.

On December 21, 2010, the UN General Assembly gathered, expressing their deep-rooted global concern for this involuntary disappearances. In an effort to recognize the issue and provoke conversation, at the Assembly officially decided to declare every August 30 as the International Day of the Disappeared, and the observance began in 2011.

See the gallery below for more historical events in August:

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Today in History: August
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The meaning behind the International Day of the Disappeared

This Day in History: August 30th, 30 B.C. 

Cleopatra commits suicide 

Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, was known for her exotic beauty and seduction. However, she was much more than just an enchantress, she was an influential ruler. 

Read full story here.

This Day in History: August 25th, 1939

"The Wizard of Oz" premieres.

Based on the 1900 children's novel "The Wonderful Life of Oz," by L. Frank Baum, "The Wizard of Oz" told the story of Dorothy, played by the beloved Judy Garland, a young Kansas farm girl, who, after being knocked unconscious in a tornado, dreams about following a yellow brick road.

Read the full story here

(Photo by Getty)

This Day in History: August 21st, 1959

Hawaii becomes 50th state

56 years ago today, President Dwight Eisenhower signed the proclamation welcoming Hawaii into the United States. It was on this same day that the president ordered a new U.S. flag to be made, featuring 50 stars arranged in staggered rows: five six-star rows and four five-star rows.

Read the full story here

(Photo by Feng Wei Photography)

This Day in History: August 11th, 1934

Prisoners land on Alcatraz

81 years ago today, the first federal prisoners arrived at Alcatraz Island. On August 11, 1934, the "most dangerous" prisoners in the United States were put on the mysterious island situated 1.5 miles off the coast of San Francisco.

Read the full story here

(Photo by Andres Rodriguez)

This Day in History: August 7th, 2007

Barry Bonds breaks Hank Aaron's home run record

On August 7th, 2007, Barry Bonds hit home run No. 756, braking Hank Aaron's previous record of 755.

(Jed Jacobsohn via Getty Images)

This Day in History: August 6th, 1945

Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima

On August 6, 1945, the United States became the first an only nation to use an atomic weapon during war when Enola Gay -- an American bomber -- dropped a five-ton atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.

Read more of the story here.

 (Photo by Roger Viollet/Getty Images)

This Day in History: August 5th, 1914

The first electric traffic light was installed

The first ever electric traffic signal was introduced in Cleveland, Ohio, at the corner of Euclid Avenue and East 105th Street on August 5, 1914.

Read more on this story here.

(Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

This Day in History: August 4th, 1944

Anne Frank was captured

The Frank family escaped from Germany in 1942, out of fear of being sent to a Nazi concentration camp. With the help of a few good-hearted samaritans in Amsterdam, they were able to stay hidden for a total of 25 months. On August 1, 1944, 15-year-old Frank penned the last entry in her diary.

Read the full story here

(Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

This Day in History: August 3rd, 1958

Nautilus travels under the North Pole

On August 3rd, 1958, Nautilus -- the world's first nuclear submarine -- accomplished its first undersea voyage to the North Pole.

Read the full story here.

(Photo by Arkivi/Getty Images)

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