Monthly Archives: November 2020

ICMP assists Serbia in excavation of mass grave near Raška

Raška, Serbia 30 November 2020 – Experts from the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) today began providing technical forensic assistance at the request of Serbia’s Government Commission on Missing Persons at the exhumation of skeletal remains at the disused Kizevak quarry near Raska in southern Serbia.

The site is believed to hold remains of Kosovo Albanians missing from the 1999 conflict. Authorities have used ICMP DNA-matching reports to identify more than 2,500 of the 4,500 people estimated missing from the Kosovo conflict.

In 2015, supporting the Serbian Commission on Missing Persons, ICMP monitored the initial phase of the excavation at the Kizevak site. However, no human remains were found at that time. Efforts to locate the gravesite continued iteratively until earlier this month when the Serbian Commission found skeletal remains at the site with the help of aerial imagery.

ICMP has since 2001 provided technical forensic assistance to exhume four Kosovo…

Sweden continues to support work of ICMP in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sarajevo November 19 2020 – A new grant of SEK 9 million (€870,000) from Sweden enables the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) to continue supporting Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH) authorities’ efforts to account for missing persons and secure the rights of families .

“Sweden’s support to ICMP over the years has contributed to identifying missing persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina, bringing clarity to families and friends about the fate of their loved ones, and bringing justice to victims,” said Johanna Strömquist, Sweden’s Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina. “Thousands are still missing, and the families need to know. We will continue to support ICMP in assisting local authorities to take on their legal obligations towards them and by that contribute to strengthening the rule of law and the level of trust in the society.”

Through the grant, ICMP will continue its technical support to BIH authorities. This includes assistance in…

ICMP, with EU Support, Continues to Assist Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Authorities’ Work to Find Missing Persons and Secure Rights of All Families

Sarajevo, 13 November 2020 – The European Union will continue their support to International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) ongoing assistance to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (BiH) authorities in it’s work to locate and identify persons who are still missing from the 1990s conflict. Under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance, the European Union is providing €3 million to enable continuation of ICMP work over the next three years.

The new funding will enable ICMP to conduct a policy dialogue with the BiH authorities and families of the missing with the goal of building BiH capacities in DNA testing.  ICMP will also continue to assist BiH with forensic expertise, including the recovery of mortal remains from mass and clandestine graves and support in conducting DNA-based identifications.

“The EU’s continuous assistance to the ICMP aims to support their efforts in addressing unresolved fates of missing persons as well as in helping the authorities to fulfil their obligations…

ICMP to Host Online Discussion on Women and Missing Persons in the Syrian Context

The Hague, 9 November 2020 – An online discussion to be hosted by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) this week seeks to explore the impact of the issue of missing and disappeared persons on Syrian women, and to advance policy discussions that would enable women to assume a greater role in the Syrian missing persons process.

Speakers will include Syrian civil society representatives and other experts who will discuss the challenges that women face as disappeared persons and as relatives of missing persons.

Syrian filmmaker Waad Al-Khatib, whose documentary For Sama won several awards, will discuss the impact of the Syrian conflict on women. Waddad Halawani, President of the Committee of the Abducted and Missing in Lebanon, will share experiences from her organization’s fight to ensure that those who disappeared in Lebanon’s civil war are accounted for.

Estimates cited by the UN in 2019 indicate that over 100,000 persons are…

ICMP supports Iraqi teams in Sinjar to locate and identify victims of Da’esh crimes

Baghdad, Iraq 8 November 2020 — The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), along with other international partners, supported Iraqi authorities during recent excavations of several mass graves in the Sinjar area and a campaign to collected information and blood samples from families with missing relatives.

The excavations and the campaign began with a launch event held 24 October and ended 5 November.  Experts from Iraq’s Mass Graves Directorate and Medico-Legal Directorate excavated three mass grave sites in the area, recovering more than 100 bodies. In addition, more than 100 bags of evidence were secured from the sites. The Iraqi experts work on mass grave sites also included technical assessments of new locations.

ICMP and the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL (UNITAD) supported the Iraqi experts during the excavation.

Concurrently with the excavation work, Iraqi authorities also collected information from families with missing persons, resulting in…