Monthly Archives: June 2022

Policy Coordination Group: Accounting for Missing Persons Is Fundamental to Establishing Peace in Syria

The Hague, 23 June 2022: Implementing a systematic process to account for missing and disappeared persons in Syria must be a central element in peace negotiations and can contribute to peace implementation in a fundamental way, participants at a meeting of the Policy Coordination Group (PCG) said this week.

Meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday in The Hague, the PCG, a Syrian-led initiative on the missing and disappeared facilitated by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), discussed a policy paper on mass graves.

ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger said the missing persons process must be understood in the context of rebuilding Syrian society after decades of dictatorship and more than a decade of conflict. She said the PCG policy paper on mass graves, as well as other documents produced by the group, could drive fundamental change after a peace settlement, in terms of accountability, transparency and respect for the rule of law.

“Mass graves continue…

An Effective Strategy is Urgently Needed To Account for Missing and Disappeared Persons from the Syria Conflict

The Hague, 22 June 2022: – More than 130,000 people are missing as a result of the present conflict in Syria. This includes people who are missing as a consequence of summary executions, arbitrary and incommunicado detention, kidnapping and abduction, enslavement, chemical attacks, and other human rights abuses. The fighting and day-to-day ravages of war have also resulted in combatants and civilians of many nationalities going missing. In addition, migrants and refugees fleeing the region are missing, including children who have been separated from their families, people who have drowned on the Mediterranean crossing, and victims of human trafficking. Syrians and others are also missing as a result of human rights abuses perpetrated in Syria before the current conflict began.

An effective strategy is urgently needed to locate and identify such a large number of people who have gone missing over a protracted period of time and to secure the…

Intergovernmental Roundtable: Countries in the Middle East & Europe Must Cooperate to Address the Issue of Missing Syrians

The Hague, 22 June 2022– The Third Intergovernmental Roundtable on Syria convened by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) was held today under the title “Accounting for the Missing Is an Investment in Peace”. The roundtable, convened virtually, examined effective means of cooperation among European and Middle Eastern countries that are hosting large numbers of Syrian refugees to address the issue of people who have gone missing in Syria or on migratory routes or in destination countries.

“At previous roundtables we recognized that this is a shared challenge that requires a shared solution,” ICMP Commissioner Dirk Brengelmann said in his opening remarks. “It cannot be adequately addressed by individual countries or by groups of countries in the Middle East or in Europe – it can only be addressed effectively if the countries of origin, transit and destination cooperate.”

ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger stressed that states have an obligation to investigate…

Syrian Civil Society Networking Conference: Opportunities for Collective Action to Influence Policy

The Hague, 21 June 2022: – Syrian civil society representatives identified challenges and opportunities to unify the efforts of Syrian networks working on the issue of missing persons in the Syrian context, at a virtual event hosted by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) this week.

Speakers highlighted the importance of forging and strengthening partnerships among civil society actors working on this issue; they emphasized the need to strengthen collective action and identified opportunities for civil society to influence policymaking. Recommendations to promote inclusiveness and diversity within collectives were also proposed.

ICMP presented a Mapping Tool and a Resource Library platform, which support information exchange and capacity sharing among civil society actors.

“The best that society can offer to the families of victims, the missing, the detainees and survivors is to unite and combine efforts so that they all work towards uncovering the fate of the missing and securing access to justice…