Yearly Archives: 2017

BiH Should Accede to the ICMP Agreement

Bosnia and Herzegovina has done more than any other country to find and identify persons missing as a result of conflict. Of the 30,000 persons who were missing in 1995, more than 23,000 have been found – a ratio that has not been equaled anywhere in the world.

This unprecedented achievement has been possible through the support and cooperation of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP). ICMP was established in 1996 initially to work with the countries of the former Yugoslavia to locate and identify persons missing from the conflicts of the 1990s.  ICMP assisted by bringing all the stakeholders from the region together – government authorities,  judicial bodies and technical experts, international organizations, families of the missing and others – to forge a common and effective strategy. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, these stakeholders have worked with the BIH Missing Persons Institute, which, for more than a decade has…

ICMP Helps Brazilian Authorities Identify Missing Persons

The Hague, 14 September 2017: ICMP is assisting the Brazilian authorities with the identification of victims of enforced disappearance from the 1964-85 military dictatorship. Under a contract signed earlier this month with the Special Commission on Political Deaths and Disappearances, which is part of the Brazilian Ministry of Human Rights, ICMP will help to identify the remains of persons who went missing as a result of the dictatorship’s security policies.

The first set of post-mortem samples and family members’ samples to be analyzed under the program, which is supported by the UN Development Program, were brought to ICMP today by Dr. Samuel Ferreira, the Scientific Coordinator of the Special Commission on Political Deaths and Disappearances and of the working group responsible for identifying bodies that were interred in a clandestine mass grave at the Dom Bosco Cemetery in Perus, Sao Paulo between 1971…

[ALBANIAN LANGUAGE] Dita Ndërkombëtare e të Zhdukurve: Duke përkujtuar të zhdukurit nga konfliktet Jugosllave të viteve 1990


Sarajevë, 28 gusht 2017
: Këtë të mërkurë në çdo pjesë të botës, me rastin e Ditës Ndërkombëtare të të Zhdukurve, familjet e të zhdukurve do të bëjnë thirrje për veprim për të gjetur dhjetëra mijëra njerëz që zhduken çdo vit si pasojë e konfliktit, fatkeqësive natyrore, krimit, Migracioni të parregullt dhe shkaqeve të tjera. Komisioni Ndërkombëtar për Persona të Zhdukur (ICMP) do të bashkohet me grupet e familjeve, zyrtarët qeveritarë dhe organizatat e tjera ndërkombëtare për të nxjerrë në pah çështjen e personave të zhdukur dhe për të thirrur për strategji efektive që do të zbatohen për të trajtuar këtë çështje.

Gjetjar e më shumë se 70 përqind të atyre që u zhdukën në Ballkanin Perëndimor, një arritje e pashembullt, megjithatë do të thotë se mijëra familje po kërkojnë ende për të dashurit e tyre. “Në Ditën Ndërkombëtare të të Zhdukurve është thelbësore…

International Day of the Disappeared: “Governments have an Obligation to Account for the Missing”


The Hague, 28 August 2017: On Wednesday, on the occasion of International Day of the Disappeared, families of the missing in every part of the world will seek to highlight the plight of relatives who have disappeared as a consequence of conflict, natural disasters, crime, irregular migration and other causes. Kathryne Bomberger, Director-General of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), urged authorities in countries addressing the issue of large numbers of missing persons to work with families of the missing in order to implement sustainable strategies based on the rule of law.

“Governments have a binding obligation under law to do everything in their power to account for missing persons and to support the right of families to truth, justice and reparation.” Bomberger said. She stressed that families do not seek the support of governments as a favor but as a right,…

International Day of the Disappeared: Commemorating the Missing from the Yugoslav Conflicts of the 1990s

Sarajevo, 28 August 2017: This Wednesday in every part of the world, on the occasion of International Day of the Disappeared, families of the missing will call for action to account for the tens of thousands of people who disappear every year as a consequence of conflict, natural disasters, crime, irregular migration and other causes. The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) will join with family groups, government officials and other international organizations to highlight the issue of missing persons and to call for effective strategies to be applied to address this issue.

Accounting for more than 70 percent of those who went missing in the Western Balkans, an unparalleled achievement, nonetheless means that thousands of families are still searching for a loved one. “On International Day of the Disappeared it is essential to remember that there are 12,000…

Srebrenica: Truth and Justice Are Tools to Tackle Genocide

The Hague, 11 July 2017:  Twenty-two years after the Srebrenica Genocide, it is essential to uphold a transparent and truthful narrative of what happened, and to continue efforts – regardless of the time that has passed – to bring those who were responsible to justice, ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger said today.

Ms Bomberger said ICMP’s role in helping Bosnia and Herzegovina to account for the estimated 30,000 persons missing from the conflict of the 1990s, including the estimated 8,000 missing from the 1995 Srebrenica genocide, has helped establish a factual account of atrocities that were committed. Today, more than 70 percent of the missing in Bosnia and Herzegovina have been accounted for, and almost 90 percent of the victims of Srebrenica have been identified through ICMP’s pioneering use of DNA.

ICMP’s decision to use DNA-based methods of identification was prompted by the extreme lengths…

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 (http://bit.ly/2scO1Gb). 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…