Monthly Archives: June 2019

International Organizations Meet at ICMP To Coordinate Action on Migration 


The Hague, 17 June 2019The International Commission on Missing Persons brought key international organizations together at its Headquarters in The Hague today to take part in a consultative roundtable on next steps in the Joint Process to Account for Persons Missing as a Result of Migration in the Mediterranean Region. 

In June last year, at a conference organized by ICMP in Rome, Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Malta asserted their intention to develop a Joint Process to coordinate their responses to the issue of missing migrantsThe Joint Process countries held their second meeting on 13 June at ICMP Headquarters in The Hague. 

At today’s roundtable, ICMP presented the findings of the survey it carried out, as part of the Joint Process, at the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019 to assess the scope and extent of investigatory capacities…

Daily Digest, 17 June 2019

Mediterranean countries increase efforts to find missing persons
Countries in the Mediterranean have pledged to coordinate and increase their efforts to trace nearly 18,500 migrants that have gone missing since 2014 while making the perilous journey to Europe, AFP reports. The commitment was made as part of a Joint Process to account for missing migrants, which held its second meeting at the Headquarters of the International Commission on Missing Persons in The Hague.

Malta: pledges to increase efforts to find missing migrants in the Mediterranean
The online newsportal, NewsBook reports that representatives of Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Malta have met at ICMP HQ to discuss cooperation on the issue of missing migrants. In a Joint Statement, Malta, Greece and Cyprus said that “locating missing migrants requires effective cooperation among States in a range of fields, including improving the utility of available data, forensic and other technical aspects, and support to families…

Daily Digest, 14 June 2019

Wang Kelian: Syndicate could have been operating years before bodies’ discovery

A human trafficking syndicate in northern Malaysia could have been operating for several years before it was discovered by police in January 2015, The New Straits Times reports. A forensic expert testifying before the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the discovery of mass graves in Wang Kelian said that some bodies could have been buried three or four years before the discovery based on post-mortem examinations conducted on bodies exhumed from the graves. He added that bodies exhumed from the mass graves were received in stages between 25 May 25 and 8 June 2015, with 114 bodies received in total with the victims estimated to be 10 to 40 years old.

Venezuela: Migrants missing after boat reportedly sinks

Thirty-two Venezuelan migrants are reported missing after the boat they were travelling on sank, according to the BBC. The migrants left…

Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Malta Meet at ICMP For the 2nd meeting of the Joint Process on Accounting for Missing Migrants   


13 June 2019: Meeting at the Headquarters of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in The Hague today, representatives of Cyprus, Greece, Italy, and Malta participated in the second meeting of the Joint Process to further discuss cooperation on addressing the large number of people who continue to go missing on Mediterranean migration routes despite a reduction in the number of migrants arriving in Europe.  

Despite the decrease in the number of arrivals in Europe, more than 500 persons are reported to have died or to have gone missing in the Mediterranean region since the beginning of 2019. Globally, since 2014, more than 31,000 persons have been reported missing or deceased along migratory routes.  

Having met for the first time in Rome on 11 June 2018, the government representatives at the second meeting of the Joint Process discussed an…

Daily Digest, 12 June 2019

United Nations Security Council addresses missing persons

The UN News Center reports that on Tuesday the Security Council adopted its first-ever resolution dealing specifically with persons reported missing in armed conflict. Unanimously adopting resolution 2474 (2019), the Council called upon parties to armed conflict to take all appropriate measures, to actively search for persons reported missing, to enable the return of their remains and to account for persons reported missing “without adverse distinction”.

Nadia Murad asks for protection for mass graves

Nadia Murad, the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner, has asked the Iraqi Government and UN to take proper steps to protect mass graves from fires that have spread across the Sinjar area in northern Iraq, Ezidi 24 reports. Wild fires in the wheat and barley fields that contain mass graves have raised fears among the Yezidi community that the fires may damage mass graves and destroy evidence and human…

Daily Digest, 11 June 2019

ICMP: working on a global solution

The Hill newspaper in Washington DC carries an opinion piece today by the Chair of the International Commission on Missing persons (ICMP), Ambassador Thomas J Miller. Ambassador Miller notes that ICMP will host a series of meetings at its Headquarters in The Hague this week to tackle key aspects of the global challenge of missing persons, including efforts by states to account for migrants, refugees and displaced persons who go missing.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: exhumations at mass grave near Sarajevo

Mortal remains of twelve victims of the 1992-95 war have been exhumed from a mass grave on Mount Igman, southwest of Sarajevo, N1 reports. The mass grave was discovered last week after an investigation ordered by the State Prosecutor’s Office. The search was conducted by the Missing Persons Institute. The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) is providing technical assistance at the excavation.

Daily Digest, 7 June 2019

Canada: missing indigenous women
The widespread killings and disappearances of indigenous women and girls in Canada constitute a “race-based genocide” that has claimed as many as 4,000 victims in the past 30 years, according to a landmark report released this week. The Guardian reports that the crisis is not confined to Canada: Indigenous women and girls in the US face estimated murder rates up to 10 times higher than the national average, and there is no comprehensive, federal database tracking cases related to the epidemic.

Mexico: missing persons figure increases in Michoacán
The Mexican newspaper, Mi Morelia reports a rising number of missing persons in recent years in the state of Michoacán. It says 400 people have gone missing in the last three months, of whom 259 have been found. State Attorney-General Alfredo Ramírez Bedolla says a forensics group is needed to identify unidentified human remains (Original article in Spanish)….

Daily Digest, 6 June 2019

Bosnia and Herzegovina: new mass grave found
The N1 news channel from southeast Europe reports that a mass grave has been found on Mount Igman near Sarajevo, believed to contain the human remains of residents of the village of Donij Hadzici who went missing in 1992. DNA tests will be undertaken to identify remains.

Ecuador: families of the missing call for better police training
The Association of Relatives and Friends of Missing Persons in Ecuador has requested a meeting with the State Attorney General to address the problem of missing persons in the country, the Ecuadorian online newspaper reports. It says there were 10,500 reported missing persons cases from 2014 to 2017 in Ecuador and families complain that police are not properly trained to carry out investigations (Original article in Spanish).

Malta: navy rescues 370 migrants from Mediterranean
AFP reports that Malta’s navy has rescued 370 migrants from the…

Daily Digest, 5 June 2019

Kuwait proposes a UN resolution on missing persons

Kuwait has begun its presidency of the UN Security Council with the aim of securing a UN resolution to find missing people and protect civilians in armed conflict, The National newspaper from UAE reports. The 15-member Council has already discussed proposals, and a draft resolution is expected this week, asking all 193 UN members to cooperate and follow legally binding procedures to find those missing in war.

Spain: exhumation of General Franco delayed

Days before the scheduled exhumation of the human remains of former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, the Supreme Court has ordered the government to suspend its reburial plan to give relatives more time to pursue an appeal, The New York Times reports. The case has touched on key issues of individual rights and collective memorialization.

Libya: aid group urges evacuation of migrants

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has called for…

Daily Digest, 4 June 2019

Amnesty and post-conflict justice in Zimbabwe

The Pan-African news portal African Arguments carries a story examining Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s call for an open debate about the Gukurahundi massacres of the 1980s. From 1983 to 1987, security forces targeted thousands with torture, detention and summary execution in parts of the country that were deemed to be opposition strongholds. Months after the government and opposition signed a peace accord in December 1987 an amnesty was announced.

Support for families of the missing in Nepal

The Khabarhub news portal from Nepal reports that Minister for Finance Yubaraj Khatiwada has announced increased financial benefits for families of victims of enforced disappearance in the budget for fiscal year 2019-20. More than 10,000 people died in the 1996-2006 civil war in Nepal and more than 1,300 were reported as missing.

Mexico: Hidalgo appoints advisors on missing persons
The Mexican newspaper Milenio reports that the State…