Monthly Archives: November 2021

Greek Minister for Migration Hosts Third ICMP-Facilitated Discussion On Missing Migrants in the Mediterranean with Cyprus, Italy and Malta

19 November 2021: Representatives of Cyprus, Greece, Italy, and Malta participated today in the third meeting of the Joint Process, facilitated by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) at the Ministry of Migration and Asylum of Greece in Athens, to discuss the way forward in the effort to account for missing migrants and refugees in the Mediterranean region. Since the beginning of 2014, more than 23,000 people have died or gone missing attempting to reach Europe.

At a meeting convened by ICMP in Rome in June 2018, the same four European Mediterranean countries launched a Joint Process to expand cooperation and enhance domestic capabilities to account for missing migrants and refugees. The four countries agreed to work with ICMP to assess their investigatory capacities, to propose strategies to redress possible shortcomings, and to enhance cooperation.

Speaking at today’s meeting, Greece’s Minister for Migration and Asylum, Notis Mitarachi, said the Joint Process should be extended to more Mediterranean…

20 Years Ago Today ICMP Issued First DNA Match to Support Identifying Tens of Thousands Missing from the Former-Yugoslav Conflicts

The Hague, 16 November 2021: – On this day, 20 years ago, ICMP issued its first DNA match report. As a result of this report, the body of a 15-year old boy who had disappeared at Srebrenica was identified. This marked the start of a revolutionary new process using advanced database and DNA technology to identify large numbers of persons missing from armed conflict and human rights abuses.

“Working with families of the missing and governments in the Western Balkans, ICMP became the first organization to successfully implement a population-based, DNA-led identification process in a post-conflict environment. The use of DNA not only increased the speed of identifications, but also provided irrefutable evidence of a person’s identity that could be linked back to the original crime scene,” said Kathryne Bomberger, Director-General of ICMP.  “This process has enabled families of the missing to secure their rights to truth and justice and…

ICMP-Facilitated Syrian Policy Coordination Group on Missing and Detained persons Finalizes Constitutional Principles on Syria’s Missing

The Hague, 11 November 2021 – The Policy Coordination Group (PCG), a Syrian-led initiative on the missing and disappeared facilitated by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), today finalized a draft paper on proposed constitutional principles related to Syria’s missing.

The constitutional principles not only address the legacy of systematic human rights violations in Syria, including the widespread practice of enforced disappearance, but also the need to establish rights-based guarantees to protect all persons from going missing or from being disappeared. The paper is divided into provisions directly related to the issue of missing persons, such as rights related to the dignity of life, safeguards against the deprivation of liberty, and transitional justice measures, and provisions indirectly linked to the issue that support a political transition based on the rule of law and the separation of powers.

Today’s virtual meeting was the fifth session of the PCG since it was…

ICMP Expresses Condolences on the Death of Hajra Catic

The Hague, 10 November 2021: The Commissioners and staff of the International Commission on Missing Persons have expressed their condolences to the Association of Women of Srebrenica following the death of the Association’s President, Hajra Catic.

“Hajra was a fighter. She courageously sought justice for Srebrenica genocide survivors and for all families of the missing. Sadly, her son Nino, a journalist, was never found. We honor her and other survivors and will continue to make every effort to find the remaining victims”, ICMP Director General Kathryne Bomberger said.

Since 2001, when it introduced mass DNA matching, ICMP has helped to identify around 7,000 of the approximately 8,000 genocide victims and is closely working with BIH authorities to account for those who remain missing.