Monthly Archives: June 2018

Daily World News Digest, 18 June 2018

Da’esh fighters buried without identification in Iraq

The Al-Monitor website reports on efforts to recover and identify thousands of bodies following the capture last year by Iraqi government forces of the city of Mosul, which had been under Da’esh occupation. The article cites efforts by the International Commission on Missing Persons to work with the Iraqi authorities to account for the missing in Mosul.

Call for EU to show leadership on migration

Human Rights Watch has issued a report recommending that when they meet in Brussels on 28 and 29 June to discuss migration and asylum policy, EU leaders should “ensure EU global leadership on refugee protection, uphold the right to asylum, and more equitably share responsibility among EU member states”. Human Rights Watch says its policy recommendations are intended to safeguard the rights of all migrants while allowing EU governments to control their borders.

Refugee ships reach Spain

An aid…

Daily World News Digest, 15 June 2018

Guatemala: a legacy of enforced disappearances

The Guardian reports on efforts to address the legacy of enforced disappearances in Guatemala. “Convictions for ex-military officers over the forced disappearance of 14-year-old Marco Antonio Molina Theissen are bittersweet for relatives desperate to know where he is buried. It’s almost 37 years since the schoolboy was bundled into a sack by officers after they had ransacked the family home looking for his sister, Emma Guadalupe, who had managed to escape a military torture chamber. Marco Antonio’s family has never stopped looking for him, but the boy who dreamed of becoming an engineer was disappeared by a military regime that considered children fair game in its quest to crush political dissent.”

“Desaparecido” cases rise in the Philippines

ABS-CBN news network from the Philippines reports that 40 “desaparecido” cases were reported in the first two years of the presidency of Rodrigo Duterte, higher than…

Daily World News Digest, 14 June 2018

UNODC Global Study on Smuggling of Migrants 2018

ReliefWeb reports that at least 2.5 million migrants were smuggled in 2016, which generated an income for smugglers of up to US$7 billion, according to the first Global Study on Smuggling of Migrants released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Data suggests that many smuggling flows include unaccompanied or separated children, who might be particularly vulnerable to deception and abuse by smugglers and others.

Increase in enforced disappearances in El Salvador

CNN reports on gender violence in El Salvador, where a woman is murdered every 19 hours, and murders more generally occur every two hours. The UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, Agnes Callamard, says that in El Salvador women’s bodies “are treated as a territory for revenge and control. Gangs are male-dominated and girls and women parts of the territories they control.” Callamard also notes that about…

Daily World News Digest, 13 June 2018

Iraq: families await news of the disappeared in Mosul

The Express Tribune from Pakistan carried an AFP report on the families of the missing who gather at Mosul’s Al-Minassa Square each Friday. Collating testimony from families, human rights activist Sami Faisal said he has compiled 1,820 names of men and women who disappeared during and after the Da’esh occupation of the city.

UN and Myanmar agree on resettling Rohingya

The Toronto Star carries a report from the Washington Post on the agreement reached between the UN Development Program, UNHCR and the government of Myanmar, to begin resettling some of the 700,000 Rohingya who fled to Bangladesh last year. NGOs, including Refugees International, have urged that the text of the agreement be made public and warned in a statement that “conditions for Rohingya in Burma remain appalling”.

Missing Palestinians

Al Jazeera reports on efforts to account for Arabs and Palestinians who…

ICMP Brings International Organizations And European Countries Together to Enhance Cooperation in Accounting for Missing Migrants

Rome, 12 June 2018: The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) convened a meeting in Rome on Monday afternoon to ensure cooperation between international organizations and European countries in addressing the issue of missing Mediterranean migrants.

The roundtable with international organizations followed a meeting earlier in the day at which government representatives from Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Malta asserted their intention to develop a Joint Process to coordinate efforts to address this issue. The government representatives agreed that ICMP would help facilitate this process.

Representatives from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Frontex, Interpol, Europol, OHCHR, the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI), and the ICRC participated in the roundtable, which was designed to ensure that the Mediterranean countries receive support in addressing this issue.

The issue of missing migrants concerns those who have died as well those who have disappeared but who may still be alive.  In 2017, more than…

Daily World News Digest, 12 June 2018

ICMP program to coordinate efforts to account for missing Mediterranean migrants

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) presented in Rome a program to identify migrants who have disappeared in the Mediterranean region, El Confidencial reports. The program will seek the collaboration of governments in the region to identify and account for disappeared migrants and already has the support of Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Malta. Representatives of these countries held a meeting today in the Italian capital and agreed on the need to improve cooperation on the use of databases, as well as technical and forensic capabilities and DNA analysis (article in Spanish).

Migrant death toll in the western Mediterranean reaches 239 this year

Four bodies and 357 migrants were brought to the Spanish coast this weekend on 11 small boats. The International Organization for Migration reports that 239 people have died this year during the Mediterranean Sea crossing into…

ICMP and the Swiss Embassy Highlight Plight of Families of Missing Migrants in “Profiles of the Missing” Event

Rome, 11 June 2018: Families of missing migrants in the Mediterranean region participated in an event titled “Profiles of the Missing: the Journey to Europe and the Rights of Missing Migrants,” organized by the International Commission on Missing Persons and hosted by the Swiss Embassy in Rome today.

The families, together with policymakers and international organizations working on the migration issue, shared their experiences and developed recommendations on effective efforts to account for missing migrants. They also called for the rights of families of the missing to be upheld.

Family members described their experiences, and their response to personal loss, as well as their continuing efforts to find their relatives. They also spoke of…

Developing a Joint Process on the Issue Of Missing Migrants in the Mediterranean Region

Rome, 11 June 2018: Representatives of Cyprus, Greece, Italy, and Malta met at the Villa Massimo in Rome this morning at the invitation of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP). Participants at the meeting asserted their intention to develop a joint process aimed at enhancing cooperation among European and other States to account for migrants who have gone missing or who have died in the Mediterranean region.

“Locating and accounting for missing migrants requires effective administrative and investigatory cooperation among States, including coordinating existing capacities, in particular to improve the utility of available data and to source technical capabilities,” participants said in a statement issued at the conclusion of the meeting. “It is also necessary to coordinate efforts more…

Daily World News Digest, 11 June 2018

Four European countries launch initiative for missing migrants in Rome

Four European countries are meeting in Rome on Monday evening, 11 June, to discuss the issue of research and identification of thousands of missing persons on the migratory route of the central Mediterranean, All Africa reports. Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Malta will launch an initiative in cooperation with ICMP, the International Commission for Missing Persons. (article in French)

Iraq: mass grave of civilians executed by Da’esh found in Kirkuk

A mass grave including human remains of civilians, executed by Da’esh members, was found in southwest of Kirkuk, a security source from the province said on Saturday, Iraqi news report. The source said, “security troops ran into a mass grave including remains of five civilians, executed by Da’esh member in Hawija town, southwest of Kirkuk.”

The protest of the missing persons’ relatives in Yeman

According to Al Jazeera, tens of the…

Daily World News Digest, 8 June 2018

Albania agrees to start search for communists’ victims

Albanian government agreed on Wednesday evening to engage the International Commission on Missing Persons to help the authorities to investigate the whereabouts of some of the almost 6,000 Albanians who were killed or disappeared during the 45 years of Communist rule in the country, search for their remains and identify them. According to Balkan Insight, the search will start in the infamous secret graveyard known as Barracks 313 near Tirana.

Malaysia: enforced disappearance of activists

A coalition of Malaysian NGOs highlighted the still unsolved high-profile kidnapping and disappearance of four activists in the last two years to the United Nations (UN) in its report launched today. The report by Comango, which tracks progress in the field of human rights in Malaysia since the last UN’s Universal Periodic Review, pointed out that Pastor Raymond Koh, Amri Che Mat, Joshua Hilmy and wife Ruth…