Monthly Archives: December 2023

With Support from the EU and the Government of Canada, ICMP Completes 2nd Phase of DNA Data Collection Campaign for Ukrainian Families of Missing in Europe

Kyiv, 13 December 2023 – The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has completed the second phase of a campaign that enables Ukrainian refugees residing in Europe to provide genetic reference samples voluntarily, to help locate relatives missing in Ukraine as a result of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The campaign was supported by the European Union Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI) and the Government of Canada.

The latest phase of the campaign took place in Poland and Germany in November and December. A total of 165 DNA reference samples were provided by Ukrainian families during the one-week campaign. In addition to genetic data, family members also provided data about themselves and their missing loved ones, including the location where the missing person was last seen and the circumstances of the disappearance.

Iulia Bogutska, daughter of a soldier who has been missing since the spring of 2023, provided a blood sample…

With support from the EU and the United States Department of State, ICMP Makes Donation to Ukrainian Institutions To Support Efforts to Account for Missing Persons

12 December 2023, Kyiv – The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has announced a donation of material and equipment to the value of EUR 225,000 to support efforts to account for missing persons as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This donation has been made possible by the generous financial support of the European Union Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI) and the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Rights, and Labor (DRL), and highlights the shared commitment of international organizations to address the challenges arising from Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

The donation will facilitate the application of state-of-the-art DNA human identification techniques and is consistent with ICMP’s recent signing of cooperation agreements with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine.

Mykola Shevchuk, the Head of the Lviv Oblast Rada Communal Enterprise of the Lviv Oblast Bureau of Forensic Expertise said the…

Securing the Rights of Families of the Missing and Disappeared Is Fundamental to Upholding Human Rights and the Rule of Law

The Hague, 10 December 2023: – The numbers of missing and disappeared persons around the world are on the rise due to global warming, increased conflict and migration. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the of the acceptance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly.  To commemorate this historic event, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has organized a series of events highlighting the rights of missing persons and their families to truth, justice and reparations.

“When people go missing as a result of conflict or political repression or irregular migration, multiple human rights abuses are likely to be involved,” ICMP Chairperson Knut Vollebaek and ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger said in a Statement published today. “A legal obligation is triggered on the part of the State to conduct effective investigations that are official, impartial, prompt, and transparent and deploy means capable…

Human Rights Are Not an Added Option

Statement by ICMP Chairperson Knut Vollebaek and ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger on the occasion of International Human Rights Day, 10 December 2023

Governments have the right to implement policy but they have an obligation to do this according to the law, an obligation that extends to treaties and conventions signed by their predecessors. Of course, laws can be changed and countries can withdraw from international agreements – but as long as the legal framework is in place, it must be followed.

This is crucial in situations where people go missing: when this happens as a result of conflict or political repression or irregular migration, multiple human rights abuses are likely to be involved. A legal obligation is triggered on the part of the State to conduct effective investigations that are official, impartial, prompt, and transparent and deploy means capable of establishing the facts.

Abuses may include violations of the right to security and…