Posts Categorized: Press Releases

ICMP Welcomes Brazil Special Commission on Missing Persons to HQ in The Hague

The Hague, 20 December 2019: Mr. Marco Vinicius Pereira de Carvalho, President of the Brazil Special Commission on Political Dead and Missing Persons met with Director-General, Kathryne Bomberger of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) and the Director of ICMP’s Science and Technology Program, Dr. Thomas Parsons, to review steps made in identifying missing persons from the Perus Working Group.

Over the last two years, ICMP has assisted Brazil through cooperation with the Perus Working Group, which works to identify bodies that were interred in a clandestine mass grave in the Dom Bosco Cemetery in Perus, Sao Paulo, between 1971 and 1975, during the military government rule.  Over 700 cases have been examined and tested from this complex assemblage of human remains.  ICMP helped Brazil identify two high profile cases. The identifications are symbolically significant to families of the missing as they demonstrate the present government’s commitment to use…

ICMP Training Strengthens Iraq’s Ability to Process DNA Samples Related to Missing Persons

The Hague, 19 December 2019: As part of its support to Iraqi authorities in developing capacity to handle missing persons cases, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) this week trained the leaders of the DNA lab at Iraq’s Medico-Legal Directorate (MLD).

The head of the lab, Mr. Mohammed Mashni Farhan, and deputy lab head Dr. Salim Shabaan Mahmood, were trained on using an automated puncher that will enable their lab to more than double the number of samples it processes a day. The ICMP, recently donated such a puncher to MLD, one of the Iraq’s main national agencies that are responsible for addressing the missing persons issue.

His Excellency, Hisham al Alawi, Ambassador of Iraq, staff from the Iraqi Embassy in the Netherlands, ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger and the ICMP Director of Science and Technology, Thomas Parsons, took part in the opening session of the training, which was supported by the European Union….

Colombian Families of the Missing Discuss Perspectives and Priorities During Visit to ICMP in The Hague

Bogotá, 17 December 2019. From 10 to 13 December in The Hague, the Netherlands, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) brought families of the missing from Colombia together with representatives of families from other countries, as well as experts working in the field of missing persons, for a series of events at which participants exchanged experiences and perspectives.

Fourteen family members from Colombia described the effort being made to address the enormous legacy of missing persons in the country, the work that organizations and families are doing and the challenges and needs faced by  civil society organizations that work  to account for the disappeared.

ICMP organized strategic and technical workshops on topics such as reporting missing persons, data processing, location and exhumation of clandestine graves, and DNA identification. The Hague-based non-profit organization Justice and Peace Netherlands held a course on security for human rights defenders for the visitors.

“These workshops were…

Profiles of the Missing from Colombia: Perspectives and Priorities of Families of the Disappeared 

The Hague, 11 December 2019 –  To mark this week’s celebration of International Human Rights Day, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) organized a “Profiles of the Missing” discussion in The Hague today on the effort now underway to address the huge legacy of missing persons in Colombia.  

As many as 120,000 people are missing from five decades of conflict in Colombia, and all sectors of society have been affected. Disappearances have been perpetrated by state actors, paramilitary and guerrilla groups, and organized crime. Today’s “Profiles of the Missing addressed the causes of the conflict, the impact of disappearances on society and the rule of law, and the central role that families of the missing can and must play in implementing key provisions of the 2016 Peace Agreement. 

Fourteen family members of missing persons and representatives of civil…

ICMP Expresses Condolences on the Death of Nedeljko Mitrovic

The Hague, 5 December 2019: On behalf of the Board of Commissioners and the staff of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), Director-General Kathryne Bomberger has expressed her condolences to the Republika Srpska Organization of Imprisoned and Killed Soldiers and Missing Civilians following the death of the long-time President of the organization, Nedeljko Mitrovic, on Thursday.

“Throughout the years, Nedeljko was one of the key partners in the process of accounting for the missing in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Ms. Bomberger said today. “He responded to his personal tragedy with a life-long pursuit of truth and justice for the victims.”

Nedeljko’s son Slaviša went missing on 13 September 1995 and his whereabouts are still unknown.

ICMP Facilitates Meeting of Domestic Authorities to Enhance Support for Yezidi Families of Missing Persons in Iraq

Erbil, 3 December 2019. The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) and the Commission for Investigation and Gathering Evidence (CIGE) held a seminar at the CIGE office in Duhok this week, which included the participation of representatives from both federal Iraqi government and Kurdistan Regional Government authorities: the Mass Graves Directorate of the Martyr’s Foundation, the Medico-Legal Directorate of the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Martyr’s and Anfal Affairs (KRG). The seminar aimed to update Yezidi families about the components of the missing persons process related to crimes committed by IS, including: phases of excavations in Kocho, reference sample collection, and civil society and family engagement with the Yezidi community throughout 2019.

Representatives of the international community including the European Union, and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq, GIZ, the German Consulate in Erbil attended the seminar in addition to national authorities, providing an opportunity to listen…

International Commission on Missing Persons Enhances Cooperation With International Organization for Migration

The Hague, 26 November 2019:  In Geneva today, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) was officially accredited as an Observer organization at the 110th Session of the Council of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Addressing the IOM Council, ICMP’s Missing Migrants Program Manager Alessandra La Vaccara pointed out that ICMP’s expertise complements and reinforces IOM’s efforts to uphold the human dignity and well-being of migrants. She said the enhanced partnership between the two organizations “will therefore advance the security and wellbeing of persons that we are mandated to help.”

Dr La Vaccara stressed that the issue of disappearances on migratory routes is an important facet of upholding human dignity and the rule of law, and she added that “as non-citizens and without a recognized status, migrants’ human rights are often unprotected and unfulfilled”.

On 8 March 2013, IOM and ICMP concluded a Cooperation Agreement. Since then, the issue of migrants…

The Netherlands Supports ICMP’s Work to Help Iraq Address Legacy of Largescale Missing Persons

The Hague, 22 November 2019: The Kingdom of The Netherlands has awarded funding to the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in the amount of 3 million Euro to continue its program to help Iraq create a sustainable process to find missing persons and to secure the rights of surviving families of the missing.

Iraq has a legacy of hundreds of thousands of missing persons from more than four decades of conflict and instability, including large numbers of missing from the regime of Saddam Hussein and Da’esh crimes.

“The goal is to continue to support the efforts of the Iraqi government and others to create a sustainable missing persons process that is based on the rule of law and that secures the rights of all families of the missing in an impartial manner,” the Head of ICMP’s Iraq Program, Rasa Ostrauskaite, said today. She said that, with Dutch help, ICMP will…

ICMP and INTERPOL Convene Expert Meeting On DNA Analysis and Missing Migrants

The Hague 21 November 2019 – The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) and the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) have jointly organized the second meeting of DNA experts on DNA analysis of missing migrants and unidentified human remains. The meeting was held today at ICMP Headquarters in The Hague, The Netherlands.

ICMP Director of Policy and Cooperation Andreas Kleiser and INTERPOL DNA Unit Coordinator Susan Hitchin opened the meeting with an overview of key issues related to identifying missing migrants. ICMP Director of Science and Technology Thomas Parsons and ICMP Missing Migrants Program Manager Alessandra La Vaccara presented ICMP’s work in this field.

Tina Hu from INTERPOL’s Vulnerable Communities sub-directorate, and INTERPOL DNA Consultant Andrea Fischer spoke about Project Flyway and its DNA component. Project Flyway was launched in 2017 to combat migrant smuggling, human trafficking, and crimes against children, focusing on North Africa. The meeting examined how experts participating…

Czech Republic Continues Its Support for ICMP

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The Hague, 21 November: The Czech Republic’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, H.E. Ms. Kateřina Sequensová, visited the Headquarters of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in The Hague this week.

“The Czech Republic has been supporting ICMP for many years, and we are committed to continuing this relationship,” Ambassador Sequensová said after presenting ICMP with a grant. The Czech Republic, which has Observer status in ICMP’s Conference of State Parties, has provided ICMP with more than 150,000 Euros since 2008.

ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger thanked Ambassador Sequensová and said that Czech support has enabled ICMP to work effectively with governments in different parts of the world to address the challenge of missing persons.

“Large numbers of missing from conflict or major disasters make it very hard for countries to recover,” Director-General Bomberger said. “If authorities are unable or unwilling to account for the missing, the public credibility of…