Yearly Archives: 2017

Ireland Supports ICMP In Global Effort To Locate Missing And Disappeared Persons

The Hague, 19 December 2017: The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Irish Aid) has donated 150,000 Euros to the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) to assist ICMP’s global effort to tackle the issue of missing persons.

“The Irish government has been a generous supporter of ICMP since 2002, with contributions amounting to more than 1 million Euros,” ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger said today. “We are grateful for this renewed support, which will directly facilitate ICMP’s policy and technical assistance programs globally, including in Iraq, the MENA region, and Latin America.” 

The funding will help ICMP to operate its cross-cutting programs – Institution and Civil Society Development, Science and Technology, Data Systems, Justice Sector Assistance, and the Center for Excellence and Training. Through these programs, ICMP helps governments to build rule-of-law institutions that successfully and impartially…

L’ICMP reçoit le soutien de la Suisse

La Haye, le 18 décembre: L’ICMP (Commission internationale des personnes disparues) a le plaisir d’annoncer que le Département Fédéral des Affaires Etrangères suisse (DFAE) soutiendra son programme sur les migrants disparus dans la région méditerranéenne à hauteur de 400 000 dollars US au cours des deux prochaines années. L’objectif de ce programme est d’améliorer la coopération et les procédures techniques entre les autorités gouvernementales pour trouver des solutions au problème des migrants qui disparaissent en essayant de traverser la Méditerranée.

Le programme est conçu pour renforcer la capacité des pays méditerranéens à localiser et identifier les migrants disparus.

« Depuis de longues années, l’ICMP a développé un partenariat solide et efficace avec le gouvernement suisse. Cette subvention nous permettra de fournir une assistance ciblée dans un domaine politique dont les conséquences sont importantes pour de nombreux pays, en particulier en Europe, au…

ICMP receives support from Switzerland

The Hague, 18 December: On the Occasion on International Migrants Day today, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) is pleased to announce that it has just been granted 400,000 USD over the next two years by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) of Switzerland to support ICMP’s Missing Migrants Program for the Mediterranean Region. The objective of the program is to improve cooperation and technical processes among government authorities to account for migrants who go missing trying to cross the Mediterranean.

The program is designed to strengthen the capacity of Mediterranean countries to locate and identify missing migrants.

“ICMP has developed a strong and effective working partnership with the government of Switzerland over a considerable period of time, and this grant will allow us to provide targeted assistance in a policy area that has implications for a number of countries, particularly…

Iraq: Civil Society Organizations Accelerate Efforts to Account for the Missing

A key element in ICMP’s holistic approach to helping authorities around the world address the issue of missing persons is to ensure that families of the missing participate fully in the development and implementation of sustainable missing persons strategies. Survivors of missing persons do not seek information and justice and reparations as a favor or an indulgence from the authorities: they seek these things as a fundamental right, under law. This is a crucial point and one that should be brought to the fore on international Human Rights Day (10 December). In order to pursue successful missing persons strategies, families of the missing must assert their rights and government authorities must recognize and uphold those rights.

Ten of ICMP’s civil society partners in Iraq have issued a joint statement on the occasion of Human Rights Day. The NGOs, which are participating…

The Missing Persons Issue is a Human Rights Issue

The Hague, 10 December 2017: As Human Rights Day is marked around the world today, hundreds of thousands of families of missing persons will continue to endure the agony of not knowing the fate of a loved one.

The challenge of addressing missing and disappeared persons is both a consequence and a cause of widespread distrust in public institutions in many parts of the world. The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) sets out to rebuild or reinforce the credibility and capabilities of domestic and other authorities to instill and sustain trust by upholding fundamental human rights guarantees, including:

  • the right to dignity and to life,
  • the right to effective investigations concerning the missing,
  • the right not to be subjected to torture or degrading treatment,
  • the right to a family life and to privacy, and
  • the right to recognition as a…

Western Balkans Regional Meeting Launches Database of Active Missing Persons Cases From the Armed Conflicts in the Former Yugoslavia

7 December 2017 – Today in Belgrade, ICMP convened a regional meeting to present the Database of Active Missing-Persons Cases from the Armed Conflicts in the Former Yugoslavia. The meeting brought together the Board of Directors of the Missing Persons Institute of Bosnia and Herzegovina, chairpersons of the commissions on missing persons from Kosovo, Montenegro, and Serbia, and the Assistant Minister in charge of the Directorate for Detainees and Missing Persons of Croatia.

ICMP’s regional partners in the Western Balkans expressed high praise for the Database and concluded that it will be an invaluable tool in their future work.

Since 1996, ICMP has spearheaded a regional effort that has made it possible to account for 70 percent of the 40,000 people who were missing because of the conflict in the Western Balkans. Nonetheless, there are still approximately 12,000 individuals who remain unaccounted for.


ICMP Participates in International Conference for Forensic Sciences and Forensic Medicine in Iraq

Baghdad, 6 December 2017: In Baghdad today, ICMP participated in the 2nd International Conference for Forensic Sciences and Forensic Medicine held in Baghdad, Iraq. The two-day event was organized by Al-Nahrain University and sponsored by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science Research of Iraq as well as the general Secretariat of the Imam Al-Husseini Holy Shrine. Aimed at unifying efforts among the relevant institutions in Iraq and neighboring countries, the conference brought together researchers and practitioners from universities and the government to discuss the latest development in forensic sciences and to identify areas of future research and professional training.

ICMP Iraq Program Deputy Head Fawaz Abdullabas presented the role and mandate of ICMP in Iraq while Training Coordinator and Deputy Quality Control and Quality Assurance Manager Sabina Taslam also presented.

About ICMP in Iraq

ICMP has worked with the authorities in Iraq…

Serbia: New ICMP Initiative To Locate Clandestine Graves Launched

Sarajevo, 6 December 2017: The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), in cooperation with the Government Commission on Missing Persons of the Republic of Serbia, has launched the “Site Locator” on-line application in Serbia to assist in locating clandestine gravesites.

The Site Locator is a global application, but is initially being launched in the countries of the Western Balkans to assist in locating the remaining 12,000 persons missing from the conflicts in former Yugoslavia.  While more than 70 percent of the 40,000 who were missing in the region at the end of these conflicts have been accounted for, it is essential that every effort continues to be made to resolve remaining cases. The Site Locator is easy to use and can be accessed at ICMP’s Online Inquiry Center. Information can be provided anonymously, or may include contact details.

At a press conference today,…

ICMP mourns the death of Commissioner Surin Pitsuwan

The Hague, 1 December: The Commissioners and staff of the International Commission on Missing Persons are saddened by the sudden death of Surin Pitsuwan, who has been an ICMP Commissioner since June 2016.

ICMP extends its sincere condolences to Surin’s family and to his many friends and colleagues around the world.

“In the short period in which Surin was a Commissioner he had made a deep and positive impact and he will be genuinely missed,” ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger said today.

“Surin was invited to become an ICMP Commissioner because of his unparalleled knowledge of a region where the issue of missing persons is emerging as one of the key contemporary challenges,” Bomberger added. “He was effective and resourceful and quickly identified strategies that had the greatest likelihood of enabling ICMP to contribute to the effort to address the issue of missing persons in Asia.”


Review of Mortuaries in Bosnia and Herzegovina Sheds Light on Possible New Identifications

Sarajevo, 30 November: A clearer strategy on how to account for many of the 8,000 persons who are still missing from the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina is now apparent, following a four-year effort spearheaded by the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina in cooperation with the Missing Persons Institute (MPI) and assisted by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).

The preliminary results of a Working Group that was set up in 2013 to review cases of unidentified remains in the country’s 12 mortuaries – the NN (No Name) Working Group – were announced today by MPI Chair Marko Jurisic and Head of ICMP’s Western Balkans Program Matthew Holliday.

In 1995, more than 30,000 people were missing as a result of the conflicts. ICMP was established in 1996 to help the authorities account for these people. The process was slow and uncertain…