Act for the Disappeared (ACT) is a Lebanese human rights association founded in 2010. Its mission is to contribute to the clarification of the fate of the disappeared and missing in Lebanon, to foster a sustainable reconciliation process and to prevent the recurrence of violence in the country.
What we do
Since its inception, ACT has been working with the Committee of the Families of the Kidnapped and Disappeared in Lebanon (hereon out referred to as the Committee) to lobby for the creation of a national commission to investigate the fate of the missing. A draft law was drafted and submitted to the Lebanese parliament in 2012. It still awaits deliberation and adoption.
ACT also works on generating greater public visibility for the cause and engages with civil society to support the right to know of the families through the preparation and dissemination of informational materials, including TV spots, animation films, posters, publications, via creative campaigns.
In Parallel ACT works around 3 principal projects:
1. Accompaniment of the Families of the Missing and Disappeared with the ICRC
2. Investigation on the fate of the missing and protection of graves sites
3. Memorialization and intercommunity dialogues
ACT’s current team is composed of a Director, two Project Managers, a Data Analyst, a Researcher, 6 Local Accompaniers, who are in charge of maintaining relations with the families of the missing, and a Financial and Administration Officer.
The organization also relies on the committed efforts of local and international volunteers who dedicate their time to assist on the execution of these projects.
Carmen Abou Jaoude
Carmen is a researcher affiliated to the Center for Studies of the Modern Arab World (CEMAM) at University St Joseph of Beirut (USJ) and a lecturer at USJ and the University of Kaslik. She worked with the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) where she served as Head of its program and its office in Lebanon between 2011 and 2015.
Justine Di Mayo Houry
Justine is a Co-Founder of Act for the Disappeared and has served as its Director since its inception. She is a consultant for the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience where she conducts trainings on oral history, documentation of human rights violations and advocacy issues.
Gillian is a lawyer who worked for international development finance institutions (World Bank, EBRD) and a South African community-based investment company for over 20 years. Her father disappeared in Beirut on 19 August 1985.
Lynn is a Co-Founder of Act for the Disappeared. She worked with the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) where she served as Head of its program and its office in Lebanon between 2007 and 2011. She is currently the Middle East Research director at Amnesty International.
Selim is the Founder and Director of the Sustainable Democracy Center (SDC). He has been working for Impunity Watch and is currently an independent consultant on dealing with the past conflicts and peace-building issues in the MENA region and the Great Lakes Region in Africa
Berengere is a Co-Founder of Act for the Disappeared. For years she managed Nassim, a rehabilitation center in Lebanon for victims of torture. She is currently a consultant on the evaluation of projects for large international organizations, including Save the Children and Search for Common Ground.
Partners & Donors
ACT’s principal partners are the Committee of the Families of the Missing and Kidnapped in Lebanon, the Committee of the families of the missing in Syria (SOLIDE) and the International Committee of the Red Cross in Lebanon (ICRC).
ACT has also developed international partnerships with organisations such as the International Centre for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), the Argentinean Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF), Memorial Abierta in Argentina and Hafiza Merkezi in Turkey. ACT has been a member of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience since 2014.
Since its creation ACT has received support from the Norwegian Embassy in Lebanon, the Dutch Embassy in Lebanon, the Swiss Embassy in Lebanon, the European Union, Robert Bosch Stiftung Foundation, L’Atelier and the Fondation des Cedres, as well as the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES).
ACT’s ongoing projects are currently supported by the ICRC and the National Endowment for Democracy.