Yearly Archives: 2018

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…

“Profiles of the Missing” to Examine Issue of Persons Missing As a Result of Migration in the Mediterranean Region

The Hague, 31 May 2018: The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) and the Embassy of Switzerland will organize a “Profiles of the Missing” event in Rome on 11 June.

Profiles of the Missing is a public forum that brings together families of missing persons to examine core elements of the missing persons issue, raise public awareness, make recommendations, and demonstrate to policymakers that this issue is an indispensable element in addressing regional security, conflict-prevention, peace building and international justice. The active participation of surviving relatives of the missing is central to the Profiles approach.

The Profiles of the Missing event on 11 June in Rome will examine current approaches to accounting for persons missing as a result of migration in the Mediterranean region. It will follow a series of meetings in Rome designed to launch a multilateral initiative to tackle this issue.

Her Majesty Queen Noor, who has been an ICMP…

ICMP, Stakeholders in the missing persons process and families of the missing in the Western Balkans Prepare for London Summit in July

Podgorica, 26 May 2018: Stakeholders in the missing persons process across the Western Balkans met in Podgorica from 23 May to 26 May 2018 to prepare for an upcoming summit in London that will address key challenges facing the region, including how to address the issue of the 12,000 persons who are still missing from the conflicts of the 1990s. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Republic of Croatia which, as a full member of the European Union, supports the Berlin Process.

On 9/10 July, the United Kingdom will host the 5th Berlin Process Western Balkans Summit. Among other issues, the UK has indicated that making progress on the issue of…

ICMP Expresses Appreciation for German Support

The Hague, 9 May 2018: Mr Rüdiger Kȍnig, Director-General for Crisis Prevention, Stabilization, Peacebuilding and Humanitarian Assistance in the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, visited the International Commission on Missing Persons today, together with Gräfin Verana von Roedern, Minister Counsellor at the German Embassy in The Netherlands.

ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger briefed the visitors on key ICMP programs that are supported by Germany, and highlighted programs, such as ICMP’s Center for Excellence and Training (CET) and its Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) platform, for which ICMP is seeking international support. The CET and DVI platform are designed to operate as global resources to help countries implement effective strategies to account for missing persons.

Germany has supported ICMP’s program in the Western Balkans since 2001, making it possible to account for more than 70 percent of those who went missing during the conflicts of the…

ICMP Assists Bosnia and Herzegovina With 13 New Identifications Related to the Conflict of the 1990s

Sarajevo 9 May 2018: The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) today submitted 13 new DNA match reports to the BIH Missing Persons Institute. The DNA profiles were processed at ICMP’s new laboratory system at its Headquarters in The Hague.

“ICMP completed its laboratory transition at the end of December 2017 and the new laboratory became fully operational in record time,” the Head of ICMP’s Western Balkans Program, Matthew Holliday, said today. “ICMP continues to provide uninterrupted access to DNA testing and matching of biological samples submitted by BIH authorities at no cost to BIH, as it has done since 2001. There has been no change to ICMP’s assistance to BIH since ICMP moved its headquarters to The Hague.”

ICMP became a treaty-based inter-governmental organization in 2014 and in line with the new Agreement on ICMP’s Status and Functions, it moved its headquarters to The Hague. ICMP’s headquarters include its DNA…

Securing the Rights of Women in the Context of the Issue of Missing Persons


Baghdad, 2 May 2018: Addressing the issue of missing persons is central to consolidating peace in Iraq, the Head of the International Commission for Missing Persons’ (ICMP) Iraq Program, Lena Larsson, said today, adding that since a majority of those who have disappeared are male, a disproportionate number of surviving families of the missing are women who are in many cases single heads of household. “It is critical that their rights to justice, truth and reparations are secured as part of a broader process of ensuring peace and stability,” she said.

Ms Larsson was speaking in Baghdad at the conclusion of a conference on Missing Persons and the Impact on Women, Peace and Security. The conference was jointly organized by ICMP and the US Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor and was intended to highlight the intersection between the issue of missing persons and…

Accounting for the Missing Requires a Rule-of-Law Approach

The Hague, 29 March 2018
: Speaking at the Camera Justitia Masterclass today, as part of The Hague “Movies that Matter Festival”, International Commission for Missing Persons Director of Policy and Cooperation Andreas Kleiser stressed that addressing the issue of missing persons demands a rule-of law approach rather than a purely humanitarian one.

“Large numbers of missing persons destabilize fragile societies, which means that an effective program to account for the missing is a crucial component of any post-conflict or post-disaster recovery effort,” Kleiser said, adding that despite major challenges, effective programs to recover large numbers of missing can be carried out, sometimes many years after the event.

Kleiser said an effective strategy involves working with governments to establish legislative and institutional structures, working with civil society to ensure that the rights of families of the missing are secured, including rights to effective investigations,…

ICMP Trains Forensic Staff from Albania

Sarajevo, 9 March 2018: The Director of Albania’s Institute of the Formerly Politically Persecuted, Bilal Kola, led a training and study mission to Sarajevo this week as part of an ICMP initiative to help Albania develop its capacity to address the issue of missing persons.

During the visit, which ended today, six staff members from the Institute of the Formerly Politically Persecuted were trained in ante-mortem data collection and reference sample collection at ICMP’s facilities in Sarajevo and Tuzla. ICMP also provided training in the use of its Integrated Data Management System (iDMS), which will be used to assist the Albanian authorities in compiling a list of missing persons and members of their families.

The Head of ICMP’s Western Balkans Program briefed Mr Kola on key elements of ICMP’s strategy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where it has spearheaded an effort that has made…

Female Survivors of the Missing Work Hard to Assert their Rights

Statement by ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger

On the Occasion of International Women’s Day, 8 March 2018

Events will take place around the world today to mark the progress that women have made in asserting their social, political and economic rights. There will be recognition too for those who fought to ensure that in many countries around the world women exercise their basic human rights. Yet, we must not forget those fields and countries where women still have to struggle against the odds, and this is especially relevant when it comes to the issue of disappeared and missing persons.

In conflict and other scenarios, a majority of those who disappear are male, which means that single female heads of household have to struggle on their own to access their rights and the rights of their children – the right to effective investigations and due process, the right not to be subjected to torture…

ICMP Donates DNA Lab Equipment To Sarajevo University

Sarajevo, 7 March 2018: The International Commission on Missing Persons has presented Sarajevo University’s Faculty of Natural Science with a comprehensive range of equipment that will make it possible to establish a new DNA laboratory at the university.

At the Faculty today, the Head of ICMP’s Western Balkans Program Matthew Holliday presented the Dean of Faculty of Natural Science, Professor Mustafa Memić with the accompanying documentation for the equipment, which includes two DNA sequencers and sequencing computers, pipettes necessary for DNA lab work and essential laboratory hardware and furniture.

ICMP has also supplied the operating system and software needed to make the equipment operational.

“The equipment donated to our faculty is of great importance and will be used in the teaching process of all three study cycles. In this way, students will be introduced to the latest technologies in the field of molecular biology….