Posts Categorized: Press Releases

ICMP supports Iraqi authorities in their quest to find all missing persons

Baghdad, 16 May 2022 –  The International Commission on Missing Person (ICMP) supports Iraqi authorities, including the National Team, represented by the Directorate for Protection and Affairs of Mass Graves / Martyrs Foundation and the Medico-Legal Directorate / Ministry of Health, both technically and logistically, in their quest to find all missing persons, regardless of the cause of their disappearance.

ICMP has assisted Iraq since 2003. An ICMP office was opened in Baghdad in 2008, and in Erbil in 2010. ICMP worked with concerned authorities working on missing persons, and supported governmental efforts to establish Iraqi expertise to work in the field and in DNA laboratories, which was one of ICMP’s goals since the beginning in Iraq.

ICMP has also worked with Civil Society Organizations to develop and enhance their abilities to have an effective participation in locating missing persons; ICMP today supports excavations such as the one currently on-going in…

ICMP and Iraq National Team Distribute Mass Graves Protection Guidelines

Baghdad, 16 May 2022: – To mark Iraq’s National Day of Mass Graves, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) produced guidelines on legal standards and protocols for the protection of mass graves. The guidelines flyers distributed, in Arabic, Kurdish and English, were jointly prepared by ICMP and the Iraq National Team.

“The guidelines presented today offer practical information that will help families of the missing and other stakeholders to play an effective role in the missing persons process,” ICMP Director-General, Kathryne Bomberger, said.

Ms Bomberger noted that ICMP has participated, along with the key Iraqi institutions, in developing a long-term strategy to account for the missing, and a number of initiatives, including work on mass graves protection, can be launched as soon as a new government is formed.

In 2007, Iraq’s Council of Ministers designated 16 May as the National Day of Mass Graves. Iraqi authorities estimate that between 250,000…

Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Visits ICMP Headquarters

The Hague, 25 April 2022 – Today, as a part of his official visit to the Netherlands, the Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Šefik Džaferović, visited the Headquarters and DNA laboratory of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) and met with ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger.

Ms. Bomberger and Mr. Džaferović discussed ongoing efforts to account for the 7,000 persons who are still missing from the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the 1990s.

“In the last 25 years, with ICMP assistance and through the pioneering use of DNA, the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina have been able to account for 75 percent of the 30,000 persons who were reported missing from the conflict,” Ms Bomberger said. “This is a ratio that has not been equaled in any other post-conflict country.”

She said the process has enabled families of the missing “to secure their rights to truth and justice”…

ICMP Convenes Meeting of International Organizations to Support Libya’s Missing Persons Work

The Hague, 8 April 2022 – The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) convened this week an online coordination meeting between international organizations whose work is relevant to supporting Libya’s efforts to locate missing and disappeared persons from armed conflict, human rights abuses, migration and other circumstances.

The focus of the “Interagency Roundtable” is to support Libya’s efforts to create a sustainable missing persons strategy. The meeting follows the creation of a Libyan Expert Group on Missing and Disappeared Persons, which was launched in The Hague on 20 March 2022 with ICMP’s facilitation.

Speaking on Thursday at the roundtable meeting, ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger said an effective missing persons process in Libya will benefit from the creation of a central record, enhanced cooperation between the relevant institutions, a program of capacity building, and a dedicated DNA workflow to find all missing persons, regardless of ethnic, national or religious background, whether they…

ICMP statement on recent visit to Yerevan and Baku to address the issue of missing persons

The Hague, 7 April 2022: The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) welcomes the outcomes of discussions on the situation in the South Caucasus yesterday, in Brussels, at a meeting of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, and hosted by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel.

The ICMP Director General, Ms. Kathryne Bomberger, visited Armenia last week and Azerbaijan this week for high-level meetings at the invitation of the respective governments to discuss effective cooperation to locate persons missing as a result of armed conflicts in the region. ICMP was assured of the political will of both countries to step-up the efforts of their respective institutions to account for missing persons, thereby giving answers to their families and advancing confidence and peaceful coexistence.

ICMP will in the short-term present both governments with a plan proposing…

Madeleine Albright: An Inspiration To Women Who Organize and Campaign for Justice

Photo: United States Department of State

The Hague, 25 March 2022: – The Chair of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), Ambassador Thomas Miller, paid tribute today to the former US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, who died this week at the age of 84.

“Secretary Albright’s remarkable life, beginning with exile from Czechoslovakia to escape Nazi and then Communist persecution, sustained a commitment to principled leadership,” Ambassador Miller said, noting that “several of my fellow Commissioners either worked with or for Secretary Albright and can personally attest to her tenacity, integrity, warmth, and friendship.”

Ambassador Miller said that this principled leadership was at the heart of US support for ICMP when in the late 1990s it began to develop an effective model to help governments account for missing persons from disasters, conflicts and other causes.

ICMP was established just months before Madeleine Albright’s appointment as Secretary of State, and during her tenure, which saw the countries of…

Families of the Missing from the Western Balkans Strengthen Cooperation through New Regional Coordination Network

Sarajevo, 17 March 2022 – On Tuesday in Sarajevo, family associations of missing persons from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) establishing the Regional Coordination Network.

“This MoU reaffirms the commitment of the family associations to working together to secure truth, justice and reparations through a mechanism in which all families and all associations have equal rights and duties,” said Kathryne Bomberger, the Director-General of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).

Director-General Bomberger described the agreement as “historic” and she said “Ensuring coordination of family associations from all across the region and enabling them to hold governments accountable to conduct credible investigations is key to ensuring that the remaining missing persons are accounted for.”

ICMP has spearheaded the regional effort that has made it possible to account for more than 70 percent of those who went missing during the conflicts of the 1990s,…

ICMP-Facilitated Syrian Policy Coordination Group Releases Paper on Future Missing Persons Legislation

Photo from previous PCG meeting.

The Hague, 11 March 2022: The Policy Coordination Group (PCG), a Syrian-led initiative on the missing and disappeared facilitated by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), released a paper at an event this week on proposed legislation designed to support a process of finding missing persons from the Syria conflict1. It is hoped that such legislation would be considered in the context of future deliberations on a political settlement.  The proposed legislation also addresses measures to secure the rights of victims and their families.

“The proposed law is a step forward in the process of ensuring that the rights of missing persons, survivors, and their families are safeguarded in a future Syria,” said the Head of ICMP’s Syria/MENA Program, Lena Alhusseini.

During its session this week, the PCG also discussed a draft paper on investigations related to mass graves in Syria. This paper proposes measures that would help to identify the…

[ALBANIAN LANGUAGE] ICMP dhe autoritetet e Kosovës bien dakord mbi hapat për të shqyrtuar mbetjet e paidentifikuara njerëzore në morgun e Prishtinës

Hagë: 4 mars 2022 – Këtë javë, një delegacion i përfaqësuesve të institucioneve të Kosovës që punojnë në çështjen e personave të zhdukur ka vizituar selinë e Komisionit Ndërkombëtar për Personat e Zhdukur (ICMP) për të diskutuar masat për zgjerimin e procesit të llogaridhënies së personave të zhdukur nga konflikti në Kosovë.

Delegacioni i Kosovës i përbërë nga përfaqësues të Ministrisë së Drejtësisë, Komisionit Qeveritar për Personat e Zhdukur dhe Institutit për Mjekësi Ligjore diskutoi bashkëpunimin në ndërmarrjen e një shqyrtimi të plotë të procesit teknik të zhvilluar në Kosovë gjatë dy dekadave të fundit, dhe forcimin e bashkëpunimit rajonal nëpërmjet Grupit të Personave të Zhdukur.

Kathryne Bomberger, Drejtore e Përgjithshme e ICMP-së theksoi rëndësinë e shqyrtimit të ardhshëm teknik të rasteve të paidentifikuara në morgun e Institutit për Mjekësi Ligjore të Kosovës (IML), si dhe rritjen e kapaciteteve të IML-së në lidhje me administrimin dhe analizimin e të dhënave mbi…

ICMP and Kosovo Authorities Agree on the Steps to Review the Unidentified Human Remains in Pristina Mortuary

The Hague: 9 March 2022 – Last week, a delegation of representatives of Kosovo institutions that work on the issue of missing persons has visited the Headquarters of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) to discuss measures to enhance the process of accounting for missing persons from the Kosovo conflict.

The Kosovo delegation comprised of representatives of the Ministry of Justice, the Government Commission on Missing Persons, and the Institute for Forensic Medicine discussed cooperation in undertaking a thorough review of the technical process conducted in Kosovo over the last two decades, and strengthening the regional cooperation through the Missing Persons Group.

Kathryne Bomberger, the Director-General of the ICMP emphasized the importance of the forthcoming technical review of unidentified cases in the Institute for Forensic Medicine of Kosovo (IFM) mortuary, as well as increasing the capacities of the IFM with regards to managing and analyzing data on missing persons cases.