Yearly Archives: 2021

ICMP Publishes an Overview of Efforts to Account for Missing Persons in Croatia

22 October 2021 – The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) presented a detailed account of progress in accounting for those who went missing during the conflict in Croatia, together with recommendations on how more progress can be achieved.

The report Croatia, Missing Persons from the 1991-1995 Armed Conflict: A Stocktaking published today considers the rights of victims and examines the roles of institutions involved in the process. It analyses how the issue of the missing, including in relation to justice, has been addressed to date, and it examines prospects for resolving the remaining cases.

“After the 1990s conflict, Croatia and other countries in the region have managed to account for an unprecedented number of missing persons, with the ICMP assistance. It is important to continue the efforts to locate and identify the remaining missing in line with the rule of law in order to secure the rights of all…

ICMP Facilitated Syria Policy Coordination Group Recommends Constitutional Provisions For Missing and Disappeared Persons

The Hague, 5 October 2021: Members of the Policy Coordination Group (PCG) for Missing and Disappeared Persons in Syria have recommended adoption of a set of provisions in a future Syrian constitution to enable a sustainable and just process to account for more than 100,000 persons missing from the on-going conflict.

These recommendations include guarantees related to the right to a fair trial, protection of the physical and mental integrity of those under detention or arrest, reform of the security services, the independence of the judiciary, and transitional justice measures, including the establishment of a Syrian Commission on Missing Persons and purpose specific legislation designed to secure the rights of relatives of the missing to just, truth and reparations.

The PCG is a Syrian-led policy process composed of 27 Syrian family associations, civil society organizations, and legal and human rights defenders as well as international advisors. The PCG aims to develop broad…

Sweden Provides Support to ICMP’s Global Work

The Hague, 4 October 2021: – In its continuing support to the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden has donated SEK 2 million (€200,000) to help address the global challenge of missing and disappeared persons. Sweden is a member of ICMP’s Conference of States Parties and an original signatory state of the ICMP Treaty.

“Today, across Latin America, in the Mediterranean, and across South and Southeast Asia, tens of thousands of people are missing as a result of irregular migration. More than 100,000 people have disappeared from the conflict in Syria, inside the country or on dangerous routes taken by desperate Syrian refugee, and thousands are reported missing as a result of the enforced disappearance and mass displacement of Rohingya from northern Myanmar,” said Rolf Ekeus, ICMP Commissioner. “Countries such as Iraq, Sri Lanka, Burundi, Rwanda, and Vietnam are striving to address a…

ICMP and Missing Persons Group Boost Regional Cooperation to Account for the Remaining Missing Persons

Podgorica, 29 September 2021 – At a meeting in Podgorica this week the Missing Persons Group (MPG) agreed on a range of measures to reinvigorate regional cooperation to account for persons missing as a result of conflicts in the former Yugoslavia.

“Governments in the Western Balkans have managed to account for over 70 percent of the around 40,000 persons reported missing after the conflicts in the 1990s. The MPG, which gathers senior representatives of regional governments that are responsible for addressing missing persons issues, is key to accounting for more than 11,000 that remain missing,” said Matthew Holliday, the Head of ICMP’s Western Balkans Program. “Today the MPG agreed on measures that will increase the sustainability of the MPG, boost cooperation in the process of accounting for the missing as well as strengthen the engagement of families of the missing in its work”.

Out of the more than 11,000 remaining missing…

OECD Designates ICMP as Fully ODA-Eligible

The Hague, 16 September 2021 – On 31 August 2021, the 30 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) unanimously approved the inclusion of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in the list of multilateral organizations which can receive funding under Official Development Assistance (ODA) programs.

ODA is government aid designed to promote the economic growth of developing countries and may be provided bilaterally or channeled through the United Nations or other multilateral organizations approved by the DAC. Donors can now report their funding for ICMP, including funding for ICMP’s Headquarter-based Main Program, as ODA. Funding for ICMP, including its Main Program, will count towards donors’ overall targets for annual official government aid and will no longer be classified as being outside the donor’s overall ODA targets. ODA-eligibility removes a significant impediment to making ICMP’s Main Program, which includes specialized, centralized capabilities…

Germany’s Support Enables ICMP To Implement Its Global Mandate

The Hague, 16 September 2021 – The new German Ambassador to the Netherlands, H.E. Cyrill Nunn, visited the Headquarters of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in The Hague today.

Germany has been a long-time supporter of ICMP and in May this year Germany acceded to the Agreement on the Status and Functions of the ICMP, becoming the Treaty’s ninth State Party.

Speaking during his visit, Ambassador Nunn noted that “ICMP’s programs around the world, including those related to missing persons from the conflicts in Iraq and Syria, contribute to multilateral efforts to stabilize volatile countries and support peace-building.”

ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger said Germany’s support for ICMP’s programs, at Headquarters and globally, has enabled the organization to implement its mandate effectively. “Germany has been a key partner in our work to ensure that States uphold their responsibility to locate all missing persons and investigate the circumstances of their disappearance regardless of…

Prime Minister Kurti and ICMP Director-General Bomberger Discuss Process of Accounting for Missing from Kosovo Conflict

ICMP Director General Kathryne Bomberger and Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti

Pristina, Kosovo: 6 September 2021 – Kathryne Bomberger, the Director-General of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), and Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti met today in Pristina to discuss ways of expediting the process of accounting for more than 1,600 persons still missing from the Kosovo conflict.

Measures discussed include enhancing regional cooperation through the Missing Persons Group, and undertaking a thorough review of the technical process conducted in Kosovo over the last two decades.

Prime Minister Kurti thanked Mrs. Bomberger and her colleagues for their maximum commitment to the issue of enforced disappearances, an issue that is essential for the Government of the Republic of Kosovo and requires immediate address. He stressed the commitment of the Government to regulate the issue of pensions for the families of the missing.

Ms Bomberger noted that while the issue of missing persons had been a reserve power of the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX)…

Iraqi Authorities Conclude Strategic Meeting on Accounting for the Missing With Broad Consensus on the Way Forward

The Hague, 1 September 2021 – Iraqi government institutions today concluded a three-day strategic meeting in The Hague titled, “Missing Persons in Iraq: The Way Forward”.  The meeting hosted by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), a treaty-based intergovernmental organization, included senior representatives from Iraqi and Kurdish ministries, foundations and parliament whose work is relevant to finding the missing.  The first day of the conference coincided with the International Day of the Disappeared.

“This meeting concluded with broad consensus on a five-year strategy that would result in enhancing Iraqi efforts to find all missing persons, regardless of their sectarian or national background and the timeframe or circumstances of their disappearance,” ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger said today.

Hassan Al-Kaabi, who is the First Deputy Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament and who led the delegation, expressed his quest to secure adequate funding from the state budget for a comprehensive five-year strategy. “ICMP…

The Policy Coordination Group Launches an Ethical Charter On Data Collection and Documentation of Syria’s Missing  

The Hague, 30 August 2021 – The Policy Coordination Group (PCG) for Syria’s Missing and Disappeared Persons, with the support of the Syria/MENA Program of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), published an Ethical Charter on the standards and codes of conduct to be followed during data collection and documentation of missing persons in a virtual event today.

The Ethical Charter prioritizes the rights of victims and advances a rights-based approach to accounting for missing persons. It stipulates that data must be processed according to clearly stated legal provisions, while maintaining confidentiality, transparency, neutrality and non-discrimination. The principles outlined in the Ethical Charter apply to all forms of data and evidence, from oral testimonies to the handling of human remains exhumed from mass and clandestine graves. It also establishes a set of principles to guide data collection and documentation and support best practices. Some of these principles are already…

International Day of the Disappeared: ICMP and Iraqi Partners Launch Strategic Policy Event

The Hague, 30 August 2021 – The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), together with Iraqi partners, today launched a strategic policy meeting on “Missing Persons in Iraq: The Way Forward”. The objective of the three-day meeting, initiated on the occasion of the International Day of the Disappeared, is to enhance Iraqi efforts to account for all missing persons, regardless of sectarian, or national background or the time period, location, or circumstances of their disappearance.

“This meeting in The Hague brings together government representatives from across Iraq, including representatives from ministries and institutions that have particular responsibility for this issue. The object is to develop a joint strategy to account for missing persons and to secure the rights of all families of the missing,” ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger said at the opening of today’s meeting.

The event will focus on a multi-pronged strategy that includes the creation of a centralized Iraqi…