Monthly Archives: June 2016

Daily World News Digest, 20 June 2016

Migrants dying in North Africa as a result of dehydration, starvation, violence

TurkishWeekly reported on 18 June a statement by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) saying that the discovery of the bodies of 34 migrants in the Sahara in the previous seven days had brought the number of known migrant deaths in Africa in 2016 to 471. IOM believes these deaths may be only a fraction of the true number of migrant fatalities across North Africa. The Geneva-based organization reports at least 120,000 migrants have passed through Niger this year on their way to Europe. Yet, the only deaths recorded by IOM in Niger are the 34 victims who died after being abandoned by their smuggler this week.

Disappearances in Egypt

BBC News reported on 18 June on the case of Italian PhD student Giulio Regeni, who went missing in Cairo on 25 January. Just over a week later,…

Daily World News Digest, 17 June 2016

Families of the missing in Nepal afraid to give information  

My Republica, a news portal from Nepal, reports today that families of those who disappeared during the decade-long conflict are fearful of registering these disappearances because they cannot be sure that personal information will remain confidential. Conflict survivors made this point during a discussion on the transitional justice mechanism (Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Commission for Investigation of Enforced Disappeared Persons) held in the west of the country on Thursday.

Combating human trafficking along migration routes

The OSCE issued a statement today on the “massive movements of people caused by on-going conflicts, instability and lack of economic opportunity” in regions close to Europe. It said “mixed-migration flows” comprise refugees and economic migrants who are highly vulnerable to exploitation and human trafficking. “More than one million people came to Europe in 2015, and of this total, around 10,000 migrant children…

World News Digest May

ICMP’s Daily World News Digest brings together news stories dealing with enforced disappearances and missing persons cases from around the world. It offers a snapshot of daily events and over a longer period it highlights key trends.


Reuters carried a story on 3 May saying that an estimated 113 people had died in four shipwrecks between Libya and Italy during the previous weekend, as the crossing becomes the preferred sea route for migrants to Europe, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). In all, 1,357 migrants and refugees perished at sea during the first four months of 2016, mostly along the Central Mediterranean route, IOM said. The Guardian reported on 5 May that almost 368,000 minors sought asylum in Europe in 2015, the majority Syrian, Afghan or Iraqi. A quarter of…

ICMP provides training for Kosovo forensic scientists


Kosovo 1

By Lejla Softic

In May 2016, two experts from the Kosovo Agency on Forensics (KAF) and one expert from the Institute of Forensic Medicine (IFM) completed a two-week professional development training program at ICMP’s facilities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The KAF is primarily a crime laboratory. It was established as an agency of the Kosovo Ministry of Internal Affairs in 2003 and has received extensive support from the International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP). The IFM comes under the Ministry of Justice and is responsible for managing and maintaining forensic services based on internationally recognized standards and European best practice to provide medico-legal services, teaching and support services for families of missing persons.

The two scientists from the KAF observed the workflow at ICMP’s laboratories in Tuzla, Banja Luka and Sarajevo, and they were briefed on post-mortem sample preparation, washing and grinding and…

Daily World News Digest, 16 June 2016

Countries have realized their responsibility for missing, a weekly magazine from Bosnia and Herzegovina, carries an extended interview with International Commission on Missing Persons Director-General Kathryne Bomberger today, reviewing ICMP’s achievements over the last 20 years. In addition to its work in the Western Balkans, ICMP has been able to establish the issue of missing persons as an authentic global challenge, and has been at the forefront of developing an effective response to this challenge. Locating and identifying missing persons, especially after conflicts and natural disasters, has evolved as a natural progression of a broader effort to consolidate peace through strategies of transitional justice and rule-of-law initiatives that seek to eliminate the legacy of conflict and human rights violations. (The interview is in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian)

Burundi violence signals ‘crisis of constitutionalism’ in Africa

The International Bar Association reported on 15 June that an ongoing human rights crisis in Burundi that…

International Day of Missing Children

Missing Children

By Bojana Djokanovic

International Missing Children’s Day (IMCD), which is observed on 25 May, is dedicated to children who have gone missing, including those who have subsequently been found. The annual commemoration was initiated in 1983 by then US President Ronald Reagan as “National Missing Children’s Day”. This followed the 1979 disappearance of a six-year-old boy, Etan Patz, on his way to school in New York City, a case that generated widespread indignation, and concern for missing children throughout the US.

After the US began highlighting the issue in this way, other countries followed suit. In 2001, 25 May was formally recognized for the first time as International Missing Children’s Day, as a result of a joint effort by the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC), Missing Children Europe and the European Commission.

Missing Children Europe, a European federation working…

Indonesia seeks to address legacy of 1965-66

Bojana Djokanovic examines the genesis of a new effort to address the legacy of hundreds of thousands of disappearances as a result of the events of 1965-66 in Indonesia.

In May 2016, at a meeting between the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) and Asian ambassadors in The Hague, speakers stressed that armed conflict, migration, natural and manmade disasters and crime have all contributed to the missing persons challenge in Asia – the causes of the problem are diverse. The numbers of the missing are calculated in the hundreds of thousands, and in addition to families of the victims, the issue affects society as a whole.

In Indonesia the long process of consolidating democratic institutions and fostering open debate on social and political issues has until recently circumvented the question of mass killings that took place in…

Missing Persons: a Global Challenge


In May, the ICMP and the Embassy of the United Kingdom organized a seminar in The Hague to discuss the global challenge of missing persons. The participants included diplomats and representatives of international organizations, national and local authorities. As a result of migration, conflict and political instability, natural and man-made disasters and organized crime, an alarming number of people around the world go missing every day. Lack of political will, weakened rule – of- law institutions and alienated civil society in countries around the world leads these missing and disappeared to remain unaccounted for. For example, in the Philippines, there are still 2,000 missing after Typhoon Haiyan struck in November 2013; in Iraq the numbers are astounding – between 250,000 and a million remain missing; in Colombia the numbers are believed to be anywhere from 49,000 to 79,000; as a result of…

A Coherent and Coordinated International Response

Iawj 2

By Kathryne Bomberger,

On 27 May, I spoke at a plenary session of the 13th Biennial Conference of the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ). The conference was hosted in Washington DC by the US National Association of Women Judges; it brought together 900 judges from 82 countries.

In discussion with participants I was struck by the very broad consensus that now exists concerning the need for a coherent and coordinated international response to the challenge of missing persons.

Due to the link to criminal activity surrounding the circumstance in which persons go missing in the context of armed conflict, human rights abuses, organized violence, including human trafficking, as well as forced migration, during the last 30 years there has been a decisive move to address the gaps in humanitarian law in addressing the issue of the missing by embracing a rule of law…

Daily World News Digest, 15 June 2016

The Search for the Missing Must Continue

ICMP and the Regional Coordination of Associations of Families of the Missing issued a statement on 14 June noting that with more than 28,000 of the 40,000 persons who were missing at the end of the war accounted for, the countries of the Western Balkans have established a new and successful model for addressing the issue of missing persons. “The achievement in the Western Balkans has been remarkable,” ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger said.  “Few would have believed at the end of the war that so many of the missing could be located and identified. But it should not be forgotten that 12,000 people have not yet been found, and work must continue at the present rate to account for those who are still missing.” ICMP joined the Regional Coordination at its annual conference in Sarajevo this week as part of a series of…