Monthly Archives: June 2017

New ICMP Initiative to Locate Clandestine Graves

Sarajevo, 29 June 2017: The International Commission on Missing Persons has launched a new on-line application called the “Site Locator” to assist in locating sites, such as mass or clandestine graves, where the mortal remains of missing persons could be hidden. The Site Locator is intended for global use, but is initially being launched in the Western Balkans to assist in locating the remaining 12,000 persons missing from the conflicts of the 1990s.  The Site Locator is an easy-to-use application that can be accessed at ICMP’s Online Inquiry Center ( Information can be provided anonymously, or may include contact details.

At a press conference yesterday, the Director of ICMP’s Data Systems Program, Adnan Rizvic, explained how the Site Locator works and how members of the public can use it to provide information. ‘’One of the biggest obstacles to locating and identifying the remaining…

Looking to the future of missing persons analysis with next-generation sequencing

Under the watchful eye of Thomas Parsons, the International Commission on Missing Persons has become the global reference in forensic human identification. As the ICMP establishes its new headquarters in The Hague, it presents the opportunity to raise its expertise to the next level.

To the average passer-by, the entrance to the new ICMP headquarters is just another polished door on a pleasant main street in a quiet, neat Dutch city. It would be difficult to guess that the three-storey facility that lies behind will soon host a cutting-edge laboratory, working to bring solace and comfort to families that have lost loved ones through armed conflicts, disasters or migration.

A unique opportunity
On the third floor, ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger sits at her desk in a quiet corner, watching the new offices take shape around her. She is quietly excited by the relocation. “The Hague is…

ICMP Commissioners Commemorate Swedish Victims of the Southeast Asian Tsunami

Stockholm, 2 June 2017: The Commissioners of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) yesterday visited the site in Stockholm where a memorial to the Swedish victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami is being built. In the presence of survivors of victims of the Tsunami, of members of the Jury of competition for the Memorial site and of authorities from the Södra Djurgårdens park, the Commissioners learned about the efforts to remember Tsunami victims and paid their respect to all of them in a short memorial ceremony. In the immediate aftermath of the tsunami, ICMP tested more than 1,200 bone samples and issued DNA identification reports for more than 900 individuals. Among these, ICMP helped to identify 42 of the 543 Swedish victims.

At the memorial site, ICMP Commissioner Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, former Foreign Minister of Thailand and Secretary-General of…

Rights-Based Strategies to Account for the Missing

Stockholm, 1 June 2017: Concrete and effective scientific, legal, political and social strategies can help governments and stakeholders to account for the hundreds of thousands of people who go missing as a result of conflict, disasters and other causes, Her Majesty Queen Noor said in Stockholm on Wednesday. Queen Noor was speaking at the opening of a “Profiles of the Missing” conference organized by the International Commission on Missing Persons and hosted by the Swedish Institute of International Affairs.

Queen Noor emphasized that implementing these strategies “is how we can most constructively honor and remember the missing and how we can secure the rights of those who have been left behind.”

Speakers from around the world shared their personal experiences, and explained the rights-based, rule-of-law approach that families of the missing have developed in order to ensure that authorities take all necessary…