Monthly Archives: October 2015

ICMP Establishes Headquarters in The Hague

The Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Bert Koenders, and the Director-General of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), Kathryne Bomberger, signed an Agreement in The Hague today establishing ICMP’s international headquarters in the Netherlands. The organization will be based in the City of The Hague.

The Host State Agreement with ICMP provides a strong basis for ICMP to enhance its cooperation with governments and others to address the global problem of missing persons from conflict, human rights abuses, disasters and other causes. In addition, ICMP’s new headquarters will allow it to work more closely with international courts to better secure the rights of survivors to truth and justice.

“The current migration crisis reminds us again of the importance of the work of ICMP,” Minister Koenders said at the signing ceremony. “Among the millions of refugees and migrants fleeing conflict or persecution, thousands go missing and among them…

Daily World News Digest, 5 October 2015

Mexico’s government to introduce a law on enforced disappearances

Telesur news portal reported on 4 October that a new bill, drafted by Mexican authorities, together with human rights groups, victims and experts, could impose up to 100 years in jail for the crime of forced disappearance, according to the Mexican newspaper La Jornada. People who collaborate in the crime could face prison sentences from 40 to 90 years. The proposed law would also create a specialized unit for disappearances and a unified database to keep track of the number of disappeared people throughout the country. According to the draft bill, there would be no statute of limitations for the crime of forced disappearance, and state officials could be sanctioned for attempting to block investigations. It also bans officials suspected of links to the case from participating in the investigations.

Italian lab battles ‘not to lose the dead’ from migrant…

Daily World News Digest, 2 October 2015

Families of missing migrants and refugees may never know their fate

The Conversation, an Australian news portal, carried a story on 1 October saying that in 2015, almost 3,000 people have died trying to cross the sea and start a new life in Europe, and the vast majority of migrants and refugees who drown in the Aegean and Mediterranean are never identified. It said nationality of the deceased is typically based on an informed guess or information from survivors, rather than “any real investigation”. The techniques of forensic anthropology and DNA identification are largely absent here. Organizations such as ICRC and ICMP, having capacity and experience, could support the EU.

Sri Lanka to issue missing certificates to families of civil war disappeared

The Guardian reported on 1 October that the Sri Lankan government is to issue “missing” certificates to the families of thousands of people who disappeared during its 26-year…

Daily World News Digest, 1 October 2015

UN Rights Commissioner tells Sri Lanka to disband Missing Persons Commission

The New Indian Express reported on 30 September that UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has recommended that the Sri Lankan Commission for Cases of Forced Disappearances should be disbanded because its credibility has been seriously questioned by the families of the victims and other observers. In his report to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva on Wednesday, Zeid said that the task assigned to the Commission should be transferred to a “credible and independent institution established in consultation with the families of the disappeared.” Zied reiterated his call for an “ad hoc hybrid special court” to investigate and try war crimes with the involvement of foreign judges and other foreign legal personnel.

South Sudanese army abduct 10 girls in Unity state, rebels claim

The Sudan Tribune reported today that a South Sudanese…