Daily World News Digest, 2 March 2015

UN says death toll in eastern Ukraine passes 6,000

The Globe and Mail carries an Associated Press report today noting that more than 6,000 people have died in eastern Ukraine since the start of the conflict almost a year ago, according to a report issued by the UN human rights office on Monday. The report cited “credible allegations” of arbitrary detention, torture and enforced disappearances, committed mostly by armed groups but in some instances also by the Ukrainian law enforcement agencies. The displacement of one million people has also increased the risk for women from sex traffickers, the report found. http://bit.ly/1E8NBzE

US moves to deport 150 Bosnians over war crimes

The BBC reported on 1 March that US officials want to deport 150 Bosnian immigrants who are believed to have been involved in war crimes during the 1992-95 war. Citing a report in the New York Times, it says 300 people are suspected of having concealed wartime activities when they came to the US. As many as half are said to have taken part in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre. Investigators told the NYT that more documents were still coming to light and the final number of suspects could be more than 600.  http://bbc.in/1wCHiSH

South Sudan boys kidnapped to be child soldiers

The BBC reported on 1 March that hundreds of boys in South Sudan have been kidnapped and forced to become child soldiers. It said the numbers have increased since last month. Conflict continues between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and those led by former Vice-President Riek Machar. Human Rights Watch has accused both sides of using child soldiers. About 1.5 million people have been displaced by the fighting in the country and 2.5 million are facing severe food shortages. http://bbc.in/1M0Y3sb

Human Trafficking in Asia

The Eurasiareview news portal reported on 1 March that as many as 36 million people may be victims of trafficking worldwide, and two-thirds of this number may be from Asia. Total profits from worldwide forced labor and sex trafficking may be as high as $150 billion annually, it said. http://bit.ly/1FMSxqV

Missing persons protests in Sri Lanka

The Times of India reported on 28 February that Sri Lanka’s Presidential Commission on Missing Persons has begun a three-day session in the eastern city of Trincomalee amid protests by Tamil groups who argue that the Commission’s approach is ill suited to the task of helping to find missing relatives. The commission has received more than 20,106 complaints including approximately 5,000 from relatives of missing security forces personnel.  http://bit.ly/1N2pDZs

Baby trafficking is a lucrative business in Kenya

USA Today reported on 28 February that baby trafficking has become a lucrative business in Kenya. It cites a slum district in the Capital, Nairobi, where it says it is common for gangs to steal or buy infants. Fueling the trade are couples seeking to adopt children, kidnappers extracting ransoms from families desperate to reclaim their little ones and the economic value of children forced into labor. Children in Kenya can fetch between $2,000 and $3,000, depending on their gender, race and tribe, the article says, adding that this is far more than the $1,246 annual income the average Kenyan earns. http://usat.ly/1M3BzJc

Nepal Supreme Court rejects amnesty for war crimes

Reuters reported on 27 February that Nepal’s Supreme Court has rejected the possibility of amnesty for perpetrators of serious human rights abuses during a decade-long civil war, in a victory for human rights activists and victims’ groups. For years, Nepal has been grappling with how to bring justice to victims of humans rights abuses committed during the conflict between Maoist rebels and the security forces. More than 17,000 people were killed, 1,300 people disappeared, and thousands were displaced during the war that ended in 2006. http://reut.rs/1B0VqDN

Items in Daily World News Digest are summaries of published reports relevant to the issue of missing persons, compiled by ICMP staff.  These items do not necessarily reflect the position of ICMP.