Posts Categorized: News

OECD Designates ICMP as Fully ODA-Eligible

The Hague, 16 September 2021 – On 31 August 2021, the 30 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) unanimously approved the inclusion of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in the list of multilateral organizations which can receive funding under Official Development Assistance (ODA) programs.

ODA is government aid designed to promote the economic growth of developing countries and may be provided bilaterally or channeled through the United Nations or other multilateral organizations approved by the DAC. Donors can now report their funding for ICMP, including funding for ICMP’s Headquarter-based Main Program, as ODA. Funding for ICMP, including its Main Program, will count towards donors’ overall targets for annual official government aid and will no longer be classified as being outside the donor’s overall ODA targets. ODA-eligibility removes a significant impediment to making ICMP’s Main Program, which includes specialized, centralized capabilities…

Germany’s Support Enables ICMP To Implement Its Global Mandate

The Hague, 16 September 2021 – The new German Ambassador to the Netherlands, H.E. Cyrill Nunn, visited the Headquarters of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in The Hague today.

Germany has been a long-time supporter of ICMP and in May this year Germany acceded to the Agreement on the Status and Functions of the ICMP, becoming the Treaty’s ninth State Party.

Speaking during his visit, Ambassador Nunn noted that “ICMP’s programs around the world, including those related to missing persons from the conflicts in Iraq and Syria, contribute to multilateral efforts to stabilize volatile countries and support peace-building.”

ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger said Germany’s support for ICMP’s programs, at Headquarters and globally, has enabled the organization to implement its mandate effectively. “Germany has been a key partner in our work to ensure that States uphold their responsibility to locate all missing persons and investigate the circumstances of their disappearance regardless of…

Iraqi Authorities Conclude Strategic Meeting on Accounting for the Missing With Broad Consensus on the Way Forward

The Hague, 1 September 2021 – Iraqi government institutions today concluded a three-day strategic meeting in The Hague titled, “Missing Persons in Iraq: The Way Forward”.  The meeting hosted by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), a treaty-based intergovernmental organization, included senior representatives from Iraqi and Kurdish ministries, foundations and parliament whose work is relevant to finding the missing.  The first day of the conference coincided with the International Day of the Disappeared.

“This meeting concluded with broad consensus on a five-year strategy that would result in enhancing Iraqi efforts to find all missing persons, regardless of their sectarian or national background and the timeframe or circumstances of their disappearance,” ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger said today.

Hassan Al-Kaabi, who is the First Deputy Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament and who led the delegation, expressed his quest to secure adequate funding from the state budget for a comprehensive five-year strategy. “ICMP…

The Policy Coordination Group Launches an Ethical Charter On Data Collection and Documentation of Syria’s Missing  

The Hague, 30 August 2021 – The Policy Coordination Group (PCG) for Syria’s Missing and Disappeared Persons, with the support of the Syria/MENA Program of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), published an Ethical Charter on the standards and codes of conduct to be followed during data collection and documentation of missing persons in a virtual event today.

The Ethical Charter prioritizes the rights of victims and advances a rights-based approach to accounting for missing persons. It stipulates that data must be processed according to clearly stated legal provisions, while maintaining confidentiality, transparency, neutrality and non-discrimination. The principles outlined in the Ethical Charter apply to all forms of data and evidence, from oral testimonies to the handling of human remains exhumed from mass and clandestine graves. It also establishes a set of principles to guide data collection and documentation and support best practices. Some of these principles are already…

International Day of the Disappeared: ICMP and Iraqi Partners Launch Strategic Policy Event

The Hague, 30 August 2021 – The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), together with Iraqi partners, today launched a strategic policy meeting on “Missing Persons in Iraq: The Way Forward”. The objective of the three-day meeting, initiated on the occasion of the International Day of the Disappeared, is to enhance Iraqi efforts to account for all missing persons, regardless of sectarian, or national background or the time period, location, or circumstances of their disappearance.

“This meeting in The Hague brings together government representatives from across Iraq, including representatives from ministries and institutions that have particular responsibility for this issue. The object is to develop a joint strategy to account for missing persons and to secure the rights of all families of the missing,” ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger said at the opening of today’s meeting.

The event will focus on a multi-pronged strategy that includes the creation of a centralized Iraqi…

Global Report on Missing Persons: Key Challenges & Strategic Opportunities

The Hague, 27 August 2021 – The first edition of the Global Report on Missing persons, published today, ahead of the International Day of the Disappeared, examines why increasing numbers of people are going missing around the world, why many remain missing, and the policies that governments and others can implement in order to address this issue in effective ways.

Published by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) with the support of the United Kingdom, the Global Report brings together the work of distinguished academics and practitioners to explore key challenges and strategic opportunities in the global effort to account for large numbers of missing persons.

The first edition of the Global Report examines the issue of missing persons as a result of irregular migration in the Mediterranean, Central America and East Asia, and disappearances in the context of conflicts in Africa and South Asia. Topics are studied from…

ICMP Presentation Commemorates Missing Persons in Colombia

The Hague, 15 July 2021: The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has inaugurated an online digital presentation, which was presented this week in Bogota and at ICMP’s Headquarters in The Hague. The presentation features personal artefacts donated to ICMP by families of the missing in Colombia. The launch was part of an event hosted by ICMP to mark the completion of the first phase of its Colombia Program. The artistic intervention was developed by Creative Court, a Hague-based organization that works at the interface of art and global justice.

Participants at the event highlighted the indispensable role being played by families of the missing in Colombia, and the importance of effective commemoration.

“Families are central to the process of accounting for their missing loved ones and their initiatives to commemorate their relatives remind us of the same shared struggle,’ ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger said. ‘This event focuses on the importance of…

Syria Policy Group Adopts Ethical Charter on Data Collection

The Hague, 13 July 2021 – The Policy Coordination Group (PCG), a Syrian-led initiative on the missing and disappeared facilitated by ICMP, this week adopted an Ethical Charter.

This Charter contains ethical standards and codes of conduct to be followed during data collection and documentation of missing persons. The Charter prioritizes the rights of victims and embodies a rights-based approach to accounting for missing persons. It stipulates that data must be processed according to clearly stated legal provisions, while maintaining confidentiality, transparency, neutrality and non-discrimination. The principles outlined in the Ethical Charter apply to all forms of data and evidence, from oral testimonies to the handling of human remains exhumed from mass and clandestine graves.

The Ethical Charter establishes a set of principles to guide data collection and documentation and support best practice. Some of these principles are already enshrined in international instruments, while others reflect lessons learned from more than…

Survivors of Albania’s communist camps share stories in ICMP-supported documentary film

By Saša Kulukčija

Tirana, 17 May 2021 – Gjet Kadel was just seven years old when he and his family were imprisoned in Albania’s Tepelena camp. Decades later, he is still looking for the remains of family members who perished in the camp. His story is highlighted in The Weight of Mud, a documentary created by journalist Lulieta Progni of the Institute for Political Studies with support from the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).

The documentary, created as part of a project financed by the European Union (EU) in Albania and the Government of Switzerland and implemented by ICMP and Authority for Information on Former State Security Documents (AIFSSD), was featured on ABC Albania and is now available on YouTube.

The film combines survivors’ stories with research and State Archive documents. About 600 people, 300 of them children, were killed or died due to inhuman conditions while imprisoned in Tepelena…

On Iraq’s Mass Grave Day, ICMP calls for the protection and investigation of mass graves

Baghdad, 16 May 2021 – To commemorate Mass Graves Day in Iraq, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in collaboration with Bournemouth University presented a recently published protocol on mass grave investigation and protection to Iraqi authorities involved in efforts to account for missing persons.

In 2007, the Iraqi Council of Ministers designated 16 May as the National Day of Mass Graves to draw attention to the fate of individuals who were killed and disappeared during decades of conflict and human rights abuse and buried in mass graves. Iraqi authorities estimate that between 250.000 and 1 million persons have gone missing in the country.

To commemorate Mass Graves Day, ICMP presented to Iraqi stakeholders Arabic- and Kurdish-language copies of The Bournemouth Protocol on Mass Grave Protection and Investigation, a joint product of ICMP and Bournemouth University that defines legal and practical standards of the protection and investigation of mass…