Monthly Archives: October 2019

Afghanistan Accedes to ICMP Treaty

The Hague, 30 October 2019: The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has acceded to the Agreement on the Status and Functions of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP). This makes Afghanistan the eighth country to become an ICMP State Party in addition to Chile, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Serbia, Sweden, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Belgium and El Salvador as Signatory States.

Since 1980, Afghanistan has experienced almost continuous conflict, which has resulted in large numbers of missing persons. ICMP stands ready to help the authorities in Afghanistan to develop an effective, impartial and long-term missing persons process.

After today’s ceremony, at which the Ambassador of Afghanistan to the Netherlands H.E. dr. Mohammad Homayoon Azizi formally deposited the instrument of accession at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands as depository of the Agreement, ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger said that by becoming a State Party, Afghanistan has affirmed its commitment to…

Swedish Parliamentarians and Trade Union Leaders Visit ICMP Western Balkans Program

Sarajevo, 29 October 2019: Parliamentarians and trade unionists from Sweden visited the facilities of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, today to learn more about ICMP’s work and about the missing persons issue in the Western Balkans.

The visitors were briefed on ICMP’s cross-cutting programs that help civil society networks advocate for truth, justice and the rights of families of the missing, and support legislative and institutional initiatives to sustain an impartial and effective missing persons process.

The group visited the Podrinje Identification Project (PIP), which was created to assist in the identification of persons missing from the the fall of the Srebrenica and Zepa UN Safe Areas in July 1995. With ICMP assistance, 7,000 of the 8,000 victims of the Srebrenica Genocide have been accounted for so far.

ICMP Senior Forensic Anthropologist Dragana Vucetic explained the methodical process through which human remains exhumed from mass graves…

Iraqi Minister for Foreign Affairs Visits ICMP Headquarters in The Hague


The Hague, 28 October 2019: The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) stands ready to enhance its support for Iraq’s efforts to address the country’s huge issue of missing persons in an effective and impartial way, ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger said today.

Ms Bomberger was speaking during a visit by Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohamed Ali Alhakim to ICMP’s Headquarters in The Hague. Foreign Minister Alhakim was accompanied by Iraq’s Ambassador to the Netherlands Hisham Al-Alawi and senior officials.

Director-General Bomberger said she hoped it will be possible to finalize and implement a Memorandum of Understanding between ICMP and the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs as soon as possible so that ICMP can step up the support it has already been providing to Iraq for more than a decade.

“ICMP’s goal is to help Iraq establish a sustainable process to find all missing persons, regardless of their ethnic, religious or national origin,’ Ms…

ICMP Assists Iraqi National Team In Successful Data Collection Campaign in Dohuk  

Baghdad, 24 October 2019: The Iraqi National Team with the support of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has completed a Data and Reference Sample Collection campaign in Qadiya Camp for internally displaced persons, in Duhok, northern Iraq 

A large number of people living in the camp belong to the Yezidi community from the Sinjar area of northern Iraq, which was overrun by Da’esh in 2014.  

During the campaign, blood reference samples were collected from relatives of the missing, and new missing person cases were reported. The National Team crossedchecked information on more than 400 missing persons, which may now be used as part of the process of identifying human remains that were exhumed in July and August from mass graves in the village of Kocho in Sinjar.  It is hoped that the…

ICMP Assists Authorities With Reference Sample Collection in Northern Iraq

Baghdad, 19 October 2019: The Mass Graves Directorate (MGD) of the Martyrs’ Foundation, the Medico-Legal Directorate (MLD) of the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs (MoMAA) of the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq, with the help of the International Commission on Mission Persons (ICMP), have launched a campaign to collect genetic reference samples from families of the missing in Northern Iraq.

The collection of samples, which will take place in the Qadiya IDP camp in Duhok Governorate, began today, and during the campaign, the Iraqi institutions will be supported by staff from ICMP’s Data Coordination and Civil Society Initiatives department.

Reference sample collection is an essential component in the current process of identifying human remains that have been exhumed from mass graves in the village of Kocho, in Sinjar. This exercise will also serve as a model for future excavations.

The campaign was launched at a seminar…

[ALBANIAN LANGUAGE] ICMP dhe Institucionet e Kosovës Zhvillojnë më tej bashkëpunimin për të mbështetur procesin e personave të zhdukur


Hagë, 16 tetor: Një delegacion i përfaqësuesve të institucioneve të Kosovës që punojnë për çështjen e personave të zhdukur ka vizituar Selinë e Komisionit Ndërkombëtar për Personat e Zhdukur (ICMP) në Hagë për të diskutuar masat për të përmirësuar procesin e llogaridhënjes të personave të zhdukur nga konflikti i Kosovës.

Takimi rezultoi me katër përfundime kryesore:

  • Institucionet e Kosovës do të përfshijnë Gjurmuesin e Vendvarrimeve të ICMP në faqet e internetit të institucioneve përkatëse për të rritur sigurimin e informacionit për vendndodhjet e varrezave të jashtligjshme në mënyrë anonime, ose të nënshkruar;
  • Delegacioni vlerësoi pozitivisht përfitimet e përdorimit të Sistemit të Menaxhimit të Bazave të Dhënave të Identifikimit (iDMS) bazuar në cloud të ICMP, i cili mbledh, ruan, mbron dhe shkëmben të dhëna për personat e zhdukur në mënyrë të sigurt. Delegacioni ra dakord të merr një vendim për nënshkrimin e një Marrëveshjeje për licencën e përdoruesit fundor në periudhën…

ICMP and Kosovo Institutions Enhance Cooperation to Support Missing Persons Process


The Hague, 16 October: A delegation of representatives of Kosovo institutions that work on the issue of missing persons has visited the Headquarters of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in The Hague to discuss measures to enhance the process of accounting for missing persons from the Kosovo conflict.

The meeting resulted in four major outcomes:

  • Kosovo institutions will include the ICMP’s Site Locator on relevant institutions’ websites in order to increase the provision of information on locations of clandestine gravesites anonymously, or signed;
  • The delegation positively assessed the benefits of using ICMP’s cloud-based, Integrated Database Management System (iDMS) which collects, stores, protects and shares data on missing persons securely. The delegation agreed to bring a decision on signing an End User License Agreement in the forthcoming period;
  • The delegation embraced measures for ensuring greater domestic ownership of the process to enhance the sustainability of DNA-based identifications;
  • The delegation…

Swedish Students Visit ICMP

Sarajevo, 8 October: A group of high school students and teachers from Hulebäcksgymnasiet in Mölnlycke, Sweden, visited the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) program in Bosnia and Herzegovina today to learn about ICMP’s work and about the missing persons issue in the Western Balkans.

During their visit, the students learned about ICMP’s cross-cutting programs to support the development of networks of civil society organizations that advocate for truth, justice and the rights of family members of missing persons. They were also briefed on ICMP’s support for international and domestic legislative initiatives to account for the missing, based on democratic processes and the rule of law.

The students visited Tuzla, where the Podrinje Identification Project (PIP), a facility specifically created to assist in the identification of persons missing from the 1995 Srebrenica Genocide, is located. ICMP Senior Forensic Anthropologist Dragana Vucetic explained the meticulous process of identifying victims of the genocide….

USAID Continues to Support ICMP to Assist BiH in Accounting for Remaining Missing Persons

Sarajevo 7 October 2019: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded additional funding to its existing grant to the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in the amount of 89,000 USD to support ICMP’s continued assistance to Bosnia and Herzegovina to account for those who are still missing from the conflict of the 1990s.

Matthew Holliday, the Head of ICMP’s Western Balkans Program, thanked USAID for its support. He said the BIH authorities have been able to account for almost 23,000 of the approximately 30,000 people who were missing at the end of the conflict, but stressed that at least 7,000 families do not yet know the fate of their loved ones.

“The additional funding provided by USAID will enable ICMP to maintain its assistance to the BiH authorities to continue to search for and identify those still missing from the conflict,” Holliday said.

Nancy J. Eslick, USAID Mission…

Serbia: New ICMP Initiative To Locate Clandestine Graves Launched

Sarajevo, 6 December 2017: The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), in cooperation with the Government Commission on Missing Persons of the Republic of Serbia, has launched the “Site Locator” on-line application in Serbia to assist in locating clandestine gravesites.

The Site Locator is a global application, but is initially being launched in the countries of the Western Balkans to assist in locating the remaining 12,000 persons missing from the conflicts in former Yugoslavia.  While more than 70 percent of the 40,000 who were missing in the region at the end of these conflicts have been accounted for, it is essential that every effort continues to be made to resolve remaining cases. The Site Locator is easy to use and can be accessed at ICMP’s Online Inquiry Center. Information can be provided anonymously, or may include contact details.

At a press conference today, the Head of ICMP’s Western Balkans Program,…