Daily World News Digest, 21 December 2017

Canada: insufficient data on missing Indigenous women

A survey of police forces in Canada shows a patchwork approach to gathering and cataloguing information on the disappearance of Indigenous women, with some agencies keeping track of the race, ethnicity or cultural affinity of murder victims but not of those who’ve gone missing. “Unless we have this data, unless we have the numbers that are showing us what sort of trends are happening across this country … we can’t understand the reasons that our women are going missing,” said Francyne Joe, president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada. http://bit.ly/2Bnh7Y0

Iraq: accounting for the dead in Mosul

The battle to drive Da’esh from Mosul killed thousands more civilians than has previously been reported, according to the Associated Press. Iraqi or coalition forces were responsible for at least 3,200 civilian deaths from airstrikes, artillery fire or mortar rounds between October 2016 and July 2017. Most of those victims are simply described as “crushed” in health ministry reports. The coalition, which says it lacks the resources to send investigators into Mosul, acknowledges responsibility for only 326 of the deaths. http://bit.ly/2z6lkJD 

EU approach to vulnerable migrants criticized

Activists and NGOs defending migrants’ rights will remember 2017 as the year in which they were targeted by legal systems in Europe and north Africa, according to an opinion piece published by The Guardian newspaper. The writer identifies “a disturbing pattern in which European states are attempting to criminalize activists operating in different parts of the Mediterranean . . . allegations of facilitating migration and collusion with smuggling networks have become the new weapon . . . Discouraging activists bolsters the view that some lives are worth less than others. And that the fact that migrants might perish during the crossing should be simply accepted as part of the game.” http://bit.ly/2BHQ4nj

Three arrested in Bosnia for Srebrenica-related crimes

Three former Bosnian Serb Army soldiers have been arrested on suspicion that they assisted and committed genocide and crimes against humanity in the Vlasenica area in northeastern Bosnia. Mile Kosoric, Rade Garic and Momcilo Tesic were arrested on Wednesday for alleged crimes against Bosniak prisoners of war and civilians in July 1995, including genocide. Charges include “the forcible separation of civilians from a convoy of people who were leaving the protected zone following the fall of Srebrenica in July 1995,” according to the prosecution. http://bit.ly/2kyapUX

Myanmar obstructs UN human rights probe

The UN’s investigator into human rights in Myanmar has been barred from entering the country. Yanghee Lee had been due to visit in January to review Myanmar’s human rights, including alleged attacks on Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state. The government said it had banned her because she was “not impartial and objective while conducting her work”. Ms Lee said the decision to block her suggested “something terribly awful” was happening in Rakhine. On Tuesday, Myanmar’s authorities said they had found 10 bodies in a mass grave in a village there. http://bbc.in/2BRYhI6

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.