Monthly Archives: October 2016

World News Digest August

Monthly 1

Migration

The Wall Street Journal reported on 1 August that European governments are losing track of significant numbers of children who have entered the continent without their parents as refugees from war-torn areas in the Middle East and beyond. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported on 2 August that 251,557 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2016 through 27 July, arriving mostly in Greece and Italy, where close to 20,000 new arrivals entered in July. The Guardian, reported on 4 August that experiencing violence is a fact of life for child refugees. BreitBart reported on 6 August on the experience of migrants arriving in Italy. Noting that most of the more than 94,000 people who have arrived in Italy by boat this year traveled from sub-Saharan Africa to Libya where people smugglers charged them hundreds…

Gender, Memorialization and Peacemaking In the Philippines

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Kevin Sullivan assesses the prospects for settling long-running conflicts in the Philippines in the context of continuing human rights violations, including enforced disappearances

The announcement at the end of August that the Philippines Government and the National Democratic Front (NDFP) had signed an agreement enabling a permanent ceasefire, has been seen as a significant step forward, especially when viewed against the turbulent backdrop of President Rodrigo Duterte’s first months in office. A number of left-wing groups come under the NDFP banner, including the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People’s Army and the Moro Resistance and Liberation Organization. The August ceasefire agreement opens the way for intensive talks on political and constitutional reforms that could lead to the final settlement of a conflict that has gone on with varying degrees of intensity since 1968.

In addition to injecting momentum into the NDFP negotiations,…

ICMP Enhances Missing Persons Online Inquiry Center

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On 30 August ICMP announced the launch of its restructured Online Inquiry Center (OIC). The OIC can be accessed by families of the missing and others to provide or obtain information about a missing person. It is part of an advanced software solution used to manage large-scale missing persons programs throughout the world.

“The OIC is a unique and invaluable tool that gives stakeholders – including families of the missing and those who are responsible for locating and identifying missing persons – access to ICMP’s database, which currently contains information on around 40,000 missing persons,” said ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger.

Currently, the OIC can be accessed in English, Arabic, Spanish, Albanian, and Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian. More languages will be added in due course.

The OIC user can provide a variety of data about a missing person, including their physical description, data about their closest living relative(s) and…

Big Data for Peace and Justice

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By Bert Segier

At Leiden University in The Hague, the Centre for Innovation and its partners organized a week-long Summer School on Big Data for Peace and Justice in August, at which ICMP participated. The Centre for Innovation describes itself as a ”do tank” (in other words a tank that “does” as well as “thinks”). Its mission is “to explore and create enterprising projects at the juncture of education, technology and society”.

On 16 August, ICMP was represented on an expert panel of Innovators for Peace and Justice. The event included an interactive session where audience members had an opportunity to engage with ICMP’s Director of Institutional and Civil Society Development, Deborah Ruiz Verduzco, and with experts from the UN World Food Programme, PeaceTech Lab and UN Global Pulse on “the opportunities and challenges of innovation for peace and…

30 August – International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance

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The International Day of the Disappeared was established to draw attention to the fate of individuals detained, often in brutal conditions, in places that are unknown to their relatives and loved ones and/or their legal representatives. The initiative originated with the Latin American Federation of Associations for Relatives of Detained-Disappeared (Federación Latinoamericana de Asociaciones de Familiares de Detenidos-Desaparecidos, or FEDEFAM), a non-governmental organization founded in 1981 in Cost Rica, as an association of local and regional groups actively working against secret imprisonment, forced disappearances and abduction in a number of Latin American countries.

On 21 December 2010, Resolution 65/209 of the UN General Assembly expressed deep concern over “the increase in enforced or involuntary disappearances in various regions of the world, including arrest, detention and abduction, when these are part of or amount to enforced disappearances, and by the growing…

The Search for the Missing In Post-Conflict Colombia

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The Final Agreement for Ending the Conflict and Building a Stable and Long-lasting Peace, signed by the Government of Colombia and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia-Ejército del Pueblo (FARC-EP), creates a foundation on which work can begin to establish social and political processes that embed peace.

The decision by 50.24 percent of voters in Colombia’s 2 October referendum to reject the agreement means that provisions will have to be renegotiated, but a ceasefire remains in place and talks were set to resume in Havana immediately after the referendum result was announced.  The coming months are crucial: the opportunity to change the direction of a society that has endured violence since the middle of the last century must be seized in a decisive way.

ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger, welcomed the announcement in August that the Government and the FARC had reached agreement at the…

Daily World News Digest, 3 October 2016

Colombians narrowly reject peace deal

CNN reports today that Colombians narrowly rejected a referendum on Sunday on a peace deal between the government and former rebel group FARC that took over four years to negotiate and would have ended five decades of war. In a final result few were anticipating, 50.22 percent of voters voted “no” on the single-issue ballot, a blow to President Juan Manuel Santos, whose popularity has suffered in his support of the deal. Also known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the FARC leadership released a statement expressing sadness at the vote. “With today’s result, we know that our goal as a political movement is even more grand and strong. The FARC maintains the will of peace and reiterates its disposition to only use words as a weapon for constructing the future,” the statement said. http://cnn.it/2dRm6UF

Srebrenica, 20 years in the shadow…

QIAGEN and ICMP to develop first NGS workflow for identification of missing persons

Collaboration targets “Sample to Insight” sequencing solutions to enhance research and applications in human identification

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QIAGEN N.V. (NASDAQ: QGEN; Frankfurt Prime Standard: QIA) and the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) have announced collaboration on a project to enhance ICMP’s ability to identify missing persons using next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies. QIAGEN and ICMP will work together at the ICMP’s laboratory in The Hague to develop and validate a complete NGS solution, including QIAGEN’s “Sample to Insight” GeneReader NGS System* and other QIAGEN workflow solutions, as well as innovative forensic panels designed for identification of missing persons using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).

The joint efforts integrate QIAGEN’s “Sample to Insight” integrated GeneReader NGS workflow with ICMP’s on-going efforts to advance the science of human identification through a consultative process that includes the world’s leading forensic geneticists.

“The tragedy of missing persons, often due…