Monthly Archives: August 2019

International Day of the Disappeared – Families of the Missing Deserve Concrete Action

Sarajevo, 30 August: Today, International Day of the Disappeared, families of the missing all around the world are calling for action to account for those who have disappeared as a consequence of conflict, natural disasters, crime, irregular migration and other causes.

In Sarajevo this morning, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in cooperation with the BIH Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees, installed a temporary artwork representing missing persons in front of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina to highlight the issue and to call for the implementation of effective strategies to address it.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, more than 70 percent of those who were missing at the end of the conflict have been accounted for, the highest rate of missing persons case resolution in any post-conflict society anywhere in the world – but many people are still missing.

“The families of at least 7,000 missing persons continue to…

Daily World News Digest – 30 August 2019

ICMP on International Day of the Disappeared

FENA and other multiple outlets in Bosnia and Herzegovina reported on an article published by ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger today, highlighting the fact that, as countries struggle to address the issue of large numbers of missing persons, “an international legal framework has been set in place that lays out the obligations of governments to take effective action.”

UN: Enforced disappearance cases continue

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has issued a statement to mark International Day of the Disappeared, noting that “enforced disappearance can be misperceived as an issue of the past, but many cases remain unresolved and new ones continue to arise. He says successful prosecutions “have contributed to uncovering the truth, delivering justice and deterring repetition” and he calls on countries to sign, ratify or accede to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

Enforced disappearance in…

Press Release: A Moral and Legal Challenge

The Hague, 30 August 2019: As countries all over the world struggle to address the issue of large numbers of missing persons – from conflict, natural disasters, irregular migration and other causes – it is important to remember that an international legal framework has been set in place that lays out the obligations of governments to take effective action, ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger wrote in an opinion piece published today to mark International Day of the Disappeared.

Ms Bomberger stressed that social and scientific strategies have been developed that make it possible to account for much higher numbers of missing persons than would have been imagined even 20 years ago.  In the Western Balkans, for example, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has spearheaded an effort that has made it possible to account for well over 70 percent of the 40,000 people who went missing in the conflicts of…

A Moral and Legal Challenge

By Kathryne Bomberger,

In the course of today, in every part of the world, people will disappear.

Syria, Libya, Burundi, and Sudan are in the midst of unrest where enforced disappearance has become a politico-military tactic. Countries such as Iraq, Sri Lanka, and – even after the passage of nearly half a century – Vietnam are trying to address a huge and painful legacy of missing persons from past conflicts.

Given that the majority of those who go missing in conflict are men, multiple social obstacles and risks accrue to women survivors, who may be rendered more vulnerable to abusive behavior, including sexual exploitation.

The issue of missing and disappeared persons has intensified in the course of the last two decades. Climate change and environmental degradation have led to natural disasters and mass migration. Around 300,000 perished in the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, many of them buried in mass graves without any identification….

Daily World News Digest 29 August 2019

Bosnia and Herzegovina: ICMP assists in identifying victims

Equal Times, the publication of the international trade union movement, reports on the effort in Bosnia and Herzegovina to account for thousands of missing persons. The article highlights “the meticulous work done by the forensic team of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP)” in helping the domestic authorities to identify almost 200 victims of the 1992 massacre at Koricanske cliff in northern Bosnia.

The missing persons process in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Although a huge number of persons missing as a result of the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH) have been accounted for, 7,000 people are still missing, a spokeswoman for the BIH Missing Persons Institute told N1. She said “the search process has entered the most difficult stage. Given the time that has passed and the changes in the field, it is hard to get correct information that would lead…

Daily World News Digest 28 August 2019

Migrant boat sinks off Libya

At least 40 Europe-bound migrants were missing and feared drowned on Tuesday after the boat they were traveling in capsized off Libya, CBS News reports. The coastguard rescued at least 65 migrants while at least five bodies, including a child, were recovered near the western town of Khoms, around 75 miles east of Tripoli.

Colombia: Meeting for Truth

El Espectador newspaper in Colombia reports on the “Meeting for the Truth” being held this week in Pasto, in southern Colombia, by the Truth Commission and the Search Unit of Persons Listed as Disappeared. The theme of the three-day meeting is “Recognition of the persistence of family members and women searching for missing persons” (original article in Spanish)

El Salvador: Prosecutor reports on extrajudicial killings

Reuters carries a story on a report issued on Tuesday by El Salvador’s human rights Prosecutor, who says at least 116 people…

Daily World News Digest 27 August 2019

Mediterranean: missing migrants

In the first seven months of 2019, 823 people are believed to have died or gone missing in the Mediterranean en route to Europe, according to ReliefWeb, citing UNHCR’s latest monthly report. The majority of deaths took place in the Central Mediterranean where 574 people were believed to have died, 233 of which occurred in July. The ratio of deaths at sea compared to sea arrivals to Europe during the first seven months of 2019 was one death for every 45 arrivals to Europe compared to one death for every 39 arrivals in the same period during 2018.

Nigeria: killings and disappearances

At least 14 people were killed and eight others kidnapped last week in Nigeria, All Africa reports, citing Boko Haram and others among the perpetrators.

Hundreds of Turkmen missing

According to new data, between 2014 and 2017, 1,300 Turkmen were enslaved by Da’esh and till…

ICMP Supports Missing Persons Dialogue in Colombia

Bogotá, 26 August 2019: The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) will participate in the 2nd “Meeting for the Truth”, organized over the next three days in Pasto, in southern Colombia, by the Truth Commission and the Search Unit of Persons Listed as Disappeared.

This follows three preparatory events organized by the Truth Commission and the Search Unit of Persons Listed as Disappeared with the Support of ICMP, between 10 and 14 August in Villavicencio, Barrancabermeja and Medellín.

ICMP’s Colombia Program, which is funded by the European Union, was launched at the beginning of this year. It is actively engaged in helping stakeholders to sustain an effective long-term strategy to account for more than 85,000 persons who are missing as a result of the conflict. ICMP’s mandate under the 2016 Peace Agreement is to support the technical capacity of the Search Unit for Missing Persons and to strengthen the capacity of…

Daily World News Digest 26 August 2019

Prosecuting Da’esh members

An opinion piece in the Jerusalem Post highlights the need to prosecute Da’esh members for crimes, noting that few have been prosecuted and there have been no war-crimes trials of senior or mid-level Da’esh members.

Ireland Calls for exhumation of Tuam mass grave

Survivors and relatives of people who died in the Tuam mother and baby home have accused the Government of denying them justice by failing to carry out a full exhumation of the site and failing to give the children dignified burials, The Irish Times reports. Annette McKay, whose older sister is one of the 796 “Tuam babies” says the only way to establish the truth about what happened in the home is for the site to be excavated.

El Salvador: Military officers on trial for extrajudicial killings

Two ex-military officers will be prosecuted along with more than a dozen others for the 1981 El…

Daily World News Digest 23 August 2019

India: families of Punjab’s disappeared seek justice

The Punjab Documentation and Advocacy Project (PDAP), which says it has documented more than 8,000 cases of enforced disappearance, is seeking justice for victims of “counter-insurgency” efforts in Punjab, Aljazeera reports. Activists say that between 1983 and 1995, police cremated 25,000 sets of human remains labelled as “unidentified” and “unclaimed”.

China: British consulate worker held incommunicado

Simon Cheng, a worker at the British consulate in Hong Kong, was detained in mainland China as he was on his way back to Hong Kong two weeks ago, and is being held incommunicado, The Guardian reports. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, in a statement, said: “We continue to urgently seek further information about Simon’s case. Neither we nor Simon’s family have been able to speak to him since his detention.”

Scotland: exhibition to commemorate Srebrenica genocide

An exhibition to mark Srebrenica genocide has been unveiled at…