Yearly Archives: 2024

Countries in the Middle East Can Account for More Missing Persons By Sharing Experience and Best Practice

The Hague, 1 March 2024: Representatives of ambassadors from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) gathered in The Hague today at a meeting facilitated by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), to address the issue of missing persons in the region.

Chaired by Iraq’s Deputy Foreign Minister on Political Planning Affairs, Dr. Hisham Al-Alawi, the informal meeting was held in preparation for a Middle East and North Africa regional experts’ meeting on missing persons, which ICMP intends to facilitate in Iraq later in 2024.

Participants were briefed on the upcoming event in Baghdad, the objective of which is to advance cooperation on the issue of the missing among countries in the MENA region by sharing experience and best practice.

Dr. Al-Alawi, a member of ICMP’s Panel of Experts, thanked Germany and the Netherlands for supporting ICMP’s work, and stressed that the planned experts’ conference can support cooperation on an issue…

Tens of Thousands are Missing From the War Two Years On, the Case for Assisting Ukraine Is Stronger than Ever

Photo Credit: Krysja

Marking the second anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Commissioners and Director-General of the International Commission on Missing persons issued the following statement:

24 February 2024Tens of thousands of people have disappeared as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Men and women have gone missing on the battlefield and in the mass movement of citizens in the spring of 2022; civilians have disappeared in the rubble of towns fought over to the point of complete destruction; victims of arbitrary arrest in occupied territory are unaccounted for, and children have been illegally deported and adopted under opaque circumstances by families in Russia.

Ukraine has recognized that accounting for the missing is an essential part of upholding the rule of law. It has done this at a time when it is facing an existential threat. That the country is pursuing a law-based strategy to account for its…

How ICMPs Expertise and Support Helped in Resolving a Complex Case of the Identification of the Missing Military Man

Kyiv, 21 February, 2024 – Olha Bashynska’s son, Yuriy, went missing in March 2022 in the northern outskirts of Kyiv, where he was serving in the army. Determined to find out what happened to her son, Olha travelled to the place where Yuriy’s unit had been deployed and where multiple casualties had been reported. She painstakingly unearthed, sorted, and gathered heavily charred bones and then insisted that the authorities attempt to extract DNA profiles from them. When these attempts failed, due to extensive damage to the bones, Olha didn’t give up. She contacted Tetiana Sadovska, a lawyer working on behalf of military families, and together they explored options for extending the investigation into the disappearance of Yuriy and others in his unit.

Tetiana suggested that the authorities invite the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) to take bone samples from human remains stored at the mortuary of the Bureau of…

ICMP Assists State Scientific Research Forensic Center (SSRFC) In Efforts to Account for Missing Persons in Ukraine

14 February 2024, Kyiv: With EU financial support, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has donated equipment and material worth more than EUR 120,000 to Ukraine’s State Scientific Research Forensic Center (SSRFC) to support efforts to account for missing persons as a result of the Russian invasion.

ICMP has donated two AB 3500 genetic analyzers to Ukraine’s State Scientific Research Forensic Center in Kyiv, which is under the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The AB 3500 genetic analyzers are essential instruments in the process of DNA profiling of biological samples provided by families who have missing relatives and biological samples from cases of unidentified mortal remains.

The donation will facilitate DNA-led human identification and is emblematic of the growing cooperation between ICMP and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine in general, and the State Scientific Research Forensic Center in particular.

Serhii Krymchuk, Director of the State Scientific Research Forensic Center said:…

Norway Supports Efforts to Find Missing And Disappeared Persons from the War in Ukraine 

Oslo, 10 February: Norway will support the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in its work to assist Ukraine in locating missing persons and investigating their disappearance. Under a three-year, NOK 100 million (roughly 9,365,000 USD) project, ICMP will expand its efforts to help Ukraine address the growing number of missing persons from the on-going war and help to ensure that this work is done in such a way that in coming years it will be possible to present evidence in court and bring perpetrators to justice.

Tens of thousands of people have gone missing in Ukraine as a consequence of the Russian invasion. In addition to atrocities such as summary execution, forcible deportation, incommunicado detention, kidnapping and abduction, disappearances have resulted from mass displacement and family separation, including unlawful adoptions and human trafficking.

At the invitation of the Government of Ukraine, ICMP is helping the authorities to develop a sustainable…

Representatives of Syrian Civil Society Organizations Call for Strategic Vision to Find Syria’s Missing

The Hague, 22 January 2024 – At a meeting facilitated by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) this weekend in Istanbul, Türkiye, representatives of Syrian civil society organizations discussed measures to account for missing persons from Syria.

Proposals include bringing together families of the missing and CSOs across political and conflict lines; promoting measures to ensure that States hosting Syrian refugees work with Syrian groups, including supporting data collection from refugees; and undertaking systematic investigations inside Syria by developing cooperation with, and among, Syrian human rights and first responder organizations. This last proposal includes human identification work undertaken to the highest scientific standards. Other recommendations include the creation of a Syrian law on missing persons, the establishment of an inter-ministerial Commission, and the development of a Syrian Central Record on missing persons.

Participants noted that the creation of the UN Independent Institution on Missing Persons (IIMP) has the potential to deliver…