Posts Categorized: News

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…

ICMP Completes 3rd DNA Reference Collection Campaign From Syrian Families Living in Europe

The Hague, 1 December 2023 – The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has completed the third phase of a campaign that enables Syrian families of the missing who are residing as refugees in Europe to provide genetic reference samples voluntarily, to help locate relatives missing either in Syria as a result of the conflict, or along migration routes after fleeing the conflict. The most recent campaign took place in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxemburg during November 2023.

A total of 123 DNA samples were provided by Syrian families during the two-week campaign. In addition, family members provided data about themselves and their missing loved ones, including the location where they were last seen and the circumstances of the disappearance. To date, ICMP has collected data from more than 75,000 families of the missing who have reported 27,000 missing persons from Syria.  Genetic reference samples are only collected by ICMP…

ICMP Conference of States Parties Discusses Strategy To Address Global Challenge of Missing Persons

The Hague, 16 November: Representatives of states and organizations that support and cooperate with the International Commission on Missing persons (ICMP) gathered today at ICMP’s Headquarters in The Hague for the 9th meeting of the ICMP Conference of States Parties Financial Committee and the fourth meeting of the ICMP Conference of States Parties (CSP).

Today’s meetings were chaired by Germany’s Ambassador to the Netherlands Dr. Cyrill Nunn, as Germany has assumed the presidency of the CSP, taking over from the United Kingdom.

ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger briefed the CSP on ICMP’s programs and the evolving nature of the global challenge of missing persons. Among other countries, she cited Ukraine, where “the authorities are trying to develop a missing persons process based on the rule of law, whereby evidence collected in investigations will be able to be presented in court. This is an unprecedented endeavor by a country at war.”

Ms Bomberger also…

(Albanian)Një vit më pas, baza e përbashkët e të dhënave të Ballkanit Perëndimor mbetet vendimtare Për përpjekjet rajonale për të gjetur të zhdukurit

Photo from the launch of the Regional Database in The Hague, November 3, 2022.

Hagë, 3 nëntor 2023: Sot shënohet njëvjetori i lançimit  të Databazës Rajonale të rasteve aktive të personave të zhdukur nga konfliktet në territorin e ish-Jugosllavisë. Baza e të dhënave u lançua nga Grupi i Personave të Zhdukur të Ballkanit Perëndimor (GPZH), i cili përbëhet nga Krerët dhe përfaqësues të tjerë të lartë të institucioneve nga Bosnja dhe Hercegovina, Kroacia, Kosova, Mali i Zi dhe Serbia që janë përgjegjës për llogaridhenjen e personave të zhdukur. GPZH u krijua me mbështetjen e Komisionit Ndërkombëtar për Personat e Zhdukur (ICMP) në nëntor 2018.

Databaza Rajonale u siguron anëtarëve të GPZH-së një platformë moderne softuerike për shkëmbimin e të dhënave në kohë reale dhe familjeve të të zhdukurve me informacione të sakta dhe të përditësuara mbi rastet e personave të zhdukur nga konfliktet në ish-Jugosllavi. Pavarësisht nga sfidat politike, bashkëpunimi i vazhdueshëm midis institucioneve vendase në rajon ka qenë vendimtar në ruajtjen e…

One Year on, Western Balkans Shared Database Remains Crucial to Regional Efforts to Find the Missing

Photo from the launch of the Regional Database in The Hague, November 3, 2022.

The Hague, 3 November 2023: Today marks the one-year anniversary of the launch of the Regional Database of active missing persons cases from conflicts on the territory of former Yugoslavia. The Database was launched by the Western Balkans Missing Persons Group (MPG), which comprises Heads and other senior representatives of institutions from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia that are responsible for accounting for missing persons. The MPG was established with the support of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in November 2018.

The Regional Database provides the MPG members with a modern software platform for the exchange of data in real time data and families of the missing with accurate and up-to-date information on missing persons cases from the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia. Despite political challenges, enduring cooperation among domestic institutions in the region has been instrumental in maintaining this vital resource.

“The Regional Database,…

ICMP Signs Cooperation Agreements with Ukraine’s Justice and Health Ministries

Kyiv, 18 October 2023 – The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) today signed agreements with the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine as part of its program to help the authorities harmonize their efforts to account for tens of thousands of people who are missing as a result of the Russian invasion and ongoing war.

The Memorandum on Cooperation signed with the Ministry of Justice will support efforts to enhance investigations into missing persons cases, including a DNA-led identification process and other techniques used to locate missing persons in cooperation with the relevant domestic institutions. This agreement will contribute to:

  • the effectiveness of investigations into missing persons cases caused by crimes against humanity, primarily against the civilian population of Ukraine;
  • fast and effective international support in forensic examinations, with a view to strengthening human rights;
  • harmonization and development of advanced data systems capabilities to ensure…

(Albanian) Grupi i Personave të Zhdukur të Ballkanit Perëndimor Thekson punën bashkëpunuese gjatë Samitit të Procesit të Berlinit në Tiranë

Tiranë, 16 tetor 2023: Pavarësisht tensioneve politike në Ballkanin Perëndimor, është bërë përparim i rëndësishëm në llogaritjen e atyre që janë ende të zhdukur nga konfliktet e viteve 1990. Në një raport të paraqitur sot në Samitin e Procesit të Berlinit në Tiranë, Grupi i Personave të Zhdukur të Ballkanit Perëndimor (MPG) theksoi rezultatet praktike që janë arritur përmes bashkëpunimit të fokusuar shumëpalësh midis agjencive përgjegjëse qeveritare.

Raporti i katërt i performancës së MPG, që mbulon aktivitetet dypalëshe të institucioneve vendase të personave të zhdukur ndërmjet 1 korrikut 2022 dhe 1 korrikut 2023, fokusohet në zbatimin e Planit Kuadër shumëpalësh që u nënshkrua në nëntor 2018 në selinë e Komisionit Ndërkombëtar për Personat e Zhdukur (ICMP). ) në Hagë nga institucionet vendase nga rajoni që janë përgjegjëse për llogaritjen e personave të zhdukur.

MPG përbëhet nga drejtues dhe përfaqësues të tjerë të lartë të këtyre institucioneve. MPG-ja është e angazhuar në…

Western Balkans Missing Persons Group Highlights Cooperative Work During Berlin Process Summit in Tirana

Tirana, 16 October 2023: Despite political tensions in the Western Balkans, significant progress has been made in accounting for those who are still missing from the conflicts of the 1990s. In a report presented today at the Berlin Process Summit in Tirana, the Western Balkans Missing Persons Group (MPG) highlighted practical results that have been achieved through focused multilateral cooperation among responsible government agencies.

The fourth MPG Performance Report, covering bilateral activities of domestic missing persons institutions between 1 July 2022 and 1 July 2023, focuses on the implementation of the multilateral Framework Plan that was signed in November 2018 at the Headquarters of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in The Hague by domestic institutions from the region that are responsible for accounting for missing persons.

The MPG comprises Heads and other senior representatives of these institutions. The MPG is engaged in resolving the issues defined under the Framework…