Monthly Archives: November 2019

Daily World News Digest 29 November 2019

Missing persons in Nepal

Police in Nepal receive an average of 16 missing persons reports every day, according to the Kathmandu Post. The paper says most cases involve women or children and most are never solved. Since 2014, Nepal has recorded 38,349 cases, with only 9,160 being solved, though the paper notes that in many cases, police are not informed when a missing person reappears, which means there may be a higher number of solutions.

Mexico: mothers call for action on missing migrants

Mothers of missing migrants from Central America will meet today with senior government officials in Mexico, including Under-Secretary for Human Rights Alejandro Encinas, Aristegui Noticias reports. One of the mothers pointed out that migrants “go missing in zones which are violent and controlled by organized crime, making it difficult to access” (original article in Spanish).

Turkey: missing person appears in police custody

AFP reports that Mustafa…

Daily World News Digest 28 November 2019

Washington acts to address issue of missing Native American women

USA Today reports that US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order aimed at addressing the issue of missing and murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives. A task force will be established, which the Administration says will “engage with tribal communities on the scope of the issue; develop protocols to apply to new and unsolved cases; establish a multi-disciplinary, multi-jurisdictional team to review cold cases; establish greater clarity of roles, authorities and jurisdictions involved in these cases.”

Mediterranean: missing migrants

The Guardian reports that four people have died and 16 are missing after a boat carrying 78 migrants got into difficulties while travelling from Morocco to Spain. A spokeswoman for the Salvamento Marítimo said rescuers had saved 62 people from the water 36 miles north-east of the Spanish north African enclave of Melilla. The International Organization for Migration says 22,970 people have…

Daily World News Digest 27 November 2019

Accounting for the missing in Ukraine

Balkan Insight carries an in-depth story on the effort to account for those who have gone missing as a result of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Among other things, it notes that an August 2018 law on missing persons, which envisages the creation of a database to coordinate the use of information and provides for support for families of the missing, has not yet been implemented.

Enforced disappearances in Egypt

A new report published by Amnesty International says the authorities in Egypt are using counter-terror legislation to prosecute opponents of the regime. Ot says this has led to “the arbitrary detention of thousands” and resulted in serious violations carried out by the police, including enforced disappearances.

Myanmar: Court martial related to mass graves

Soldiers are being tried by a military court in Myanmar in relation to events connected with at least five mass graves…

International Commission on Missing Persons Enhances Cooperation With International Organization for Migration

The Hague, 26 November 2019:  In Geneva today, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) was officially accredited as an Observer organization at the 110th Session of the Council of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Addressing the IOM Council, ICMP’s Missing Migrants Program Manager Alessandra La Vaccara pointed out that ICMP’s expertise complements and reinforces IOM’s efforts to uphold the human dignity and well-being of migrants. She said the enhanced partnership between the two organizations “will therefore advance the security and wellbeing of persons that we are mandated to help.”

Dr La Vaccara stressed that the issue of disappearances on migratory routes is an important facet of upholding human dignity and the rule of law, and she added that “as non-citizens and without a recognized status, migrants’ human rights are often unprotected and unfulfilled”.

On 8 March 2013, IOM and ICMP concluded a Cooperation Agreement. Since then, the issue of migrants…

Daily World News Digest 26 November 2019

Syria: report highlights enforced disappearance of women

The Syrian Network for Human Rights has issued a report on enforced disappearances of women. It says females have been “directly and deliberately targeted by all parties” in the Syrian conflict, and at least 10,363 females have been detained or forcibly disappeared since March 2011, of whom 8,412 have been victims of Regime forces.

Mexico: more than 70,000 missing migrants

More than 70,000 migrants have been reported as disappeared over the past 15 years on the route through Mexico to the United States, according to the Zócalo news portal, quoting the coordinator of the Mesoamerican Migrants Movement as saying that the issue of missing migrants in Mexico is comparable to the situation in the Mediterranean (original article in Spanish).

Sri Lanka: “not a single case of enforced disappearances prosecuted”

Jacobin magazine reports on a thousand days of protests by Tamil mothers…

Daily World News Digest 25 November 2019

Malaysia: missing activist’s family wait for three years

The Star Online from Malaysia reports on efforts by Norhayati Ariffin to establish the fate of her husband, Amri Che Mat, who disappeared three years ago. In April, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) concluded that law enforcement officials were behind the enforced disappearances of Amri and Pastor Raymond Koh. Last week, Norhayati began civil proceedings against the authorities over their conduct during investigations into her husband’s disappearance.

Egypt: journalists detained

Egyptian security forces have raided the office of the Mada Masr newspaper and arrested members of staff, a day after one of the paper’s editors, Shady Zalat, was taken from his Cairo home and held in an unknown location, the Independent reports. Egyptian rights activists say they have no contact with the detained journalists.

Amnesty raises issue of disappearances in western China

Amnesty International has called on China to respond…

The Netherlands Supports ICMP’s Work to Help Iraq Address Legacy of Largescale Missing Persons

The Hague, 22 November 2019: The Kingdom of The Netherlands has awarded funding to the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in the amount of 3 million Euro to continue its program to help Iraq create a sustainable process to find missing persons and to secure the rights of surviving families of the missing.

Iraq has a legacy of hundreds of thousands of missing persons from more than four decades of conflict and instability, including large numbers of missing from the regime of Saddam Hussein and Da’esh crimes.

“The goal is to continue to support the efforts of the Iraqi government and others to create a sustainable missing persons process that is based on the rule of law and that secures the rights of all families of the missing in an impartial manner,” the Head of ICMP’s Iraq Program, Rasa Ostrauskaite, said today. She said that, with Dutch help, ICMP will…

Daily World News Digest 22 November 2019

Argentina: new light on 1976-83 disappearances

The Nation newspaper from the United States reports on the release of 47,000 pages of classified US documents that shed light on the “infrastructure of repression” in Argentina from 1976 to 1983, Argentina’s role in Operation Condor and “most important, the fate of hundreds of desaparecidos who were kidnapped, tortured, and murdered”.

Egypt: “systematic” enforced disappearances

Amnesty International reports that authorities in Egypt are “systematically using arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearances to silence any dissent and create an atmosphere of fear”. It says the Shehab Center for Human Rights recently reported more than 6,421 cases of enforced disappearance in Egypt during the period from 2013 to 2018.

Mexico: exhumations at mass grave in Coahuila

Noticieros Televisa from Mexico reports on the exhumation of 47 sets of human remains being carried out by a team of 45 forensic experts at a mass grave in Saltillo in the…

ICMP and INTERPOL Convene Expert Meeting On DNA Analysis and Missing Migrants

The Hague 21 November 2019 – The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) and the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) have jointly organized the second meeting of DNA experts on DNA analysis of missing migrants and unidentified human remains. The meeting was held today at ICMP Headquarters in The Hague, The Netherlands.

ICMP Director of Policy and Cooperation Andreas Kleiser and INTERPOL DNA Unit Coordinator Susan Hitchin opened the meeting with an overview of key issues related to identifying missing migrants. ICMP Director of Science and Technology Thomas Parsons and ICMP Missing Migrants Program Manager Alessandra La Vaccara presented ICMP’s work in this field.

Tina Hu from INTERPOL’s Vulnerable Communities sub-directorate, and INTERPOL DNA Consultant Andrea Fischer spoke about Project Flyway and its DNA component. Project Flyway was launched in 2017 to combat migrant smuggling, human trafficking, and crimes against children, focusing on North Africa. The meeting examined how experts participating…

Czech Republic Continues Its Support for ICMP


The Hague, 21 November: The Czech Republic’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, H.E. Ms. Kateřina Sequensová, visited the Headquarters of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in The Hague this week.

“The Czech Republic has been supporting ICMP for many years, and we are committed to continuing this relationship,” Ambassador Sequensová said after presenting ICMP with a grant. The Czech Republic, which has Observer status in ICMP’s Conference of State Parties, has provided ICMP with more than 150,000 Euros since 2008.

ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger thanked Ambassador Sequensová and said that Czech support has enabled ICMP to work effectively with governments in different parts of the world to address the challenge of missing persons.

“Large numbers of missing from conflict or major disasters make it very hard for countries to recover,” Director-General Bomberger said. “If authorities are unable or unwilling to account for the missing, the public credibility of…