Daily World News Digest, 2 October 2015

Families of missing migrants and refugees may never know their fate

The Conversation, an Australian news portal, carried a story on 1 October saying that in 2015, almost 3,000 people have died trying to cross the sea and start a new life in Europe, and the vast majority of migrants and refugees who drown in the Aegean and Mediterranean are never identified. It said nationality of the deceased is typically based on an informed guess or information from survivors, rather than “any real investigation”. The techniques of forensic anthropology and DNA identification are largely absent here. Organizations such as ICRC and ICMP, having capacity and experience, could support the EU. http://bit.ly/1iPdkEQ

Sri Lanka to issue missing certificates to families of civil war disappeared

The Guardian reported on 1 October that the Sri Lankan government is to issue “missing” certificates to the families of thousands of people who disappeared during its 26-year civil war. The decision comes as the UN is set to adopt a resolution seeking to improve accountability in Sri Lanka and create a mechanism for bringing alleged war criminals there to justice. The certificate of missing would allow families to apply for compensation under various government schemes and establish a legal status for those who had disappeared. The certificates could then be used to gain pension funds and land deeds, for example, which have previously been denied to relatives. The first certificates could be issued by the end of the year, officials said. http://bit.ly/1j3QmdL

NGOs call for accountability and monitoring in Sri Lanka

The Tamil Guardian news portal reported on 1 October that NGOs stressed the importance of ongoing monitoring in Sri Lanka, an internationalized judicial process for accountability, ending ongoing violations against the majority victim Tamil community and seeking a lasting political solution, during the general debate on the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka report on Wednesday. UN Watch called on the new government to “end impunity” and deliver a credible process for reconciliation and accountability. Minority Rights Group International highlighted a “broader systemic pattern of gender-based violence against Tamil women,” and stressed that “the situation remains grave for minority women.” Organization Forum Asia emphasized that the accountability process must include a “majority of international judges, lawyers and investigators, appointed independently.” The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) stressed the need for continued monitoring of implementation of the recommendations “through an OHCHR country office and the Council.” http://bit.ly/1hf1fYq

Kashmir separatists describe Pakistan PM’s UN speech as positive

India Today reported on 1 October that Kashmiri separatist leaders described Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s speech at the UN General Assembly as positive and said India should respond to Sharif’s proposals. Separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani said that Kashmir is the most militarized zone in the world, adding that the Pakistan Prime Minister has done a commendable job by reminding the UN of its duties and responsibilities to resolve the Kashmir issue. He said the Indian army has subjected over 10,000 people to enforced disappearance and killed over 10,000 in custody. Geelani said that even though 18 resolutions on Kashmir have been passed by the UN, it has failed to implement them. Separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq called on India to respond to Nawaz Sharif’s “concrete suggestions and proposals” and take steps toward demilitarization. http://bit.ly/1jBbsA9

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.