Monthly Archives: December 2022

Thao Griffiths Joins ICMP Board of Commissioners  


The Hague, 29 December 2022: A Vietnamese citizen who continues to play a key role in US-Vietnam relations, in particular supporting reconciliation and healing after the war, Thao Griffiths has accepted an invitation to become a Commissioner of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP). Ms. Griffiths will take up this position immediately.

“We are delighted that Thao Griffiths will join the Board,” ICMP Chair Thomas Miller said today. “She has extensive corporate and diplomatic experience and will make an invaluable contribution to ICMP’s efforts to help governments, including governments in Asia, address the issue of persons who have gone missing as a result of conflict, political instability, natural disasters and other causes.”

Since December 2021, Ms. Griffiths, has been Meta’s Public Policy Head for Vietnam. Before that, she served for nearly a decade as Country Director of the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, working at the organization’s Hanoi and Washington…

Missing Persons Data Governance Group for Syria Maps Way Forward

The Hague, 21 December 2022: – The eighth meeting of the Data Governance Group (DGG) for Syria took place on 20 and 21 December 2022 in Istanbul, Turkey. At the meeting, ICMP and participating Syrian civil society organizations took stock of progress made in collecting data on missing and disappeared persons from 11 years of conflict in Syria, and discussed the way forward in light of policy and institutional developments.  The DGG aims to advance best practice in the field of missing persons data management through the sharing of experience, mutual support and problem solving.


The DGG discussed the UNOHCHR-sponsored initiative to create a specialized mechanism on missing and disappeared persons from the conflict in Syria. It resolved to direct key support towards such a mechanism when it is established. The DGG will in particular further enhance its shared repository of missing persons cases, step-up analytical support for data consolidation, and directly…

ICMP-Facilitated Policy Coordination Group Discuss Paper on Syrian Amnesty Decrees

The Hague, 9 December 2022: At its 11th meeting today, the Policy Coordination Group (PCG) discussed a paper on the failure of the Syrian amnesty decrees to address the issue of missing persons and detainees. The PCG is a Syrian-led initiative on the missing and disappeared, facilitated by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP). Today’s meeting was held online under Chatham House rules.

The paper examines issues related to revealing the fate of missing persons and securing the release of detainees under amnesty decrees issued by the current authorities in Syria. It reflects the PCG’s refusal to accept any attempt under these decrees to deny accountability for perpetrators involved in violations against missing persons.

“These decrees have been abused in the past,” said one participant, “and they will simply be the basis for further human rights violations if they are used to pardon preparators. Amnesty can be a transitional justice measure to…

Syrian families residing in Europe provide data to support finding missing relatives from the war

The Hague, 2 December 2022 – The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has completed the second phase of a campaign to collect DNA reference samples from Syrian families living in Europe. The most recent campaign took place in Germany and the Netherlands between October and November 2022.

ICMP has collected data and received reports from more than 68,000 families representing more than 25,000 missing persons.  This data has been obtained voluntarily through reports to ICMP’s Online Inquiry Center (OIC) or through efforts to collect data directly from families of the missing with support from Syrian civil society organizations that work with ICMP.

The data collected includes information on where and when missing persons were last seen, and information about the circumstances of disappearance, including possible perpetrators. ICMP also collects genetic reference samples from families of the missing.  To date, ICMP has collected samples from 506 families of the missing living in…