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International Seminar on Search and Identification Systems for Disappeared Persons

San Salvador, August 14-16, 2023. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) organized the international seminar "Search and Identification Systems for Disappeared Persons: A Vision from State Search Mechanisms in Latin America".
The seminar was organized jointly with the search mechanism for disappeared persons in the armed conflict in El Salvador CNB/CONABÚSQUEDA, in the framework of the project "Women Guardians of Peace" implemented by UNODC, UN WOMEN and UNDP with the support of the United Nations Secretary-General's Peacebuilding Fund (PBF).
The seminar, held for the first time in the San Salvador, took place within the framework of the commemoration of the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, and its purpose was to promote the exchange of experiences and good practices on the subject, as well as to address the achievements and challenges of the search mechanisms in the region. 
Through this activity, positive training and awareness-raising actions were promoted for justice officials in El Salvador and other public servants with strategic responsibilities in this area, to learn about public policies for the search for disappeared persons, the identification processes implemented in various state search mechanisms in Latin America, and those actions that highlight the respect and guarantee of the human rights of victims in these processes.
"Through this initiative we seek to contribute to gender equality through the transformation of patterns of discrimination, ensuring the inclusion and equality of women in peace processes, and in the prevention of various forms of violence. From our mandate, aimed at contributing to peace and the development of a safer world, UNODC recognizes the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to such problems that affect the human rights of victims and society as a whole" said Ms. Nayelly Loya, Head of UNODC Country Office in El Salvador.
During the seminar 85 officials from El Salvador had the opportunity to learn about the experience of the search mechanisms of 5 countries in the region, which were represented by: Luz Janeth Forero Martinez, Director of the Unit for the Search for Disappeared Persons (UBPD) of Colombia; Elsy Lourdes Flores Sosa, Director of the Search Commissions for Children and Adult Persons Disappeared in the Armed Conflict of El Salvador CNB/CONABÚSQUEDA; Dra. Paulina Zamorano, from the Sub Secretariat of Human Rights of Chile; José Manuel Coloma, Director of the General Directorate for the Search for Disappeared Persons of Peru (DGBPD); and Brenda Ángeles Manjarrez, General Director of Liaison and Public Policies of the National Search Commission (CNB México).
Regarding good forensic practices in the search and identification of persons, the seminar had also the specialized participation of Dr. Silvana Turner, from the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF); Dr. Oscar Armando Quijano, from the Institute of Legal Medicine of El Salvador (IML); and Omar Bertoni Girón from the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation (FAFG).
During the seminar participants exchange of information through forums and inter-institutional roundtables, which allowed them to obtain inputs and identify best practices on specific topics, such as psychosocial care for victims of disappearances and the gender approach in the search for disappeared persons and the documentation of cases.