Daily World News Digest, 21 July 2017

Sri Lanka established Office on Missing Persons

The Colombo Page news portal reported on 20 July that Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena signed the Office of Missing Persons gazette on Thursday establishing the Office on Missing Persons (OMP). Announcing the signing on Twitter the President said “This marks another step forward in Sri Lanka’s path to sustained peace.” Sri Lanka’s parliament passed the Office on Missing Persons Bill in August 2016. The establishment of the OMP was one of the pledges the government made to the UN Human Rights Council. The Act allows the government to establish the OMP to help several thousand families of missing persons across Sri Lanka to discover the fate of their loved ones, and the circumstances under which they went missing. http://bit.ly/2vr1BUw

UN Secretary-General congratulates Sri Lanka on establishing OMP

The UN News Center reported on 20 July that UN Secretary-General António Guterres had congratulated the Sri Lankan Government for setting up the Office of Missing Persons (OMP), which it said was “an important step for all Sri Lankans who are still looking for the truth about their loved ones.” A UN statement said the organization “stands ready to support this process and the Secretary-General looks forward to [the Office] becoming operational as soon as possible, starting with the appointment of independent commissioners.” http://bit.ly/2tMpUKr

Torture victims in the Philippines to receive aid from government

Rappler, a Philippines news portal, reported on Thursday that four new government agencies have been set up to work towards the rehabilitation of the survivors of torture and enforced disappearances. The human rights group Karapatan says it has recorded 39 cases of torture and three enforced disappearances under the Duterte administration. Under the Aquino administration, it says, there were 172 cases of torture and 28 of enforced disappearance. http://bit.ly/2uP3lKk

Human rights violations in Cameroon

Amnesty International said on Wednesday that reports have surfaced suggesting that Cameroonian authorities are detaining, beating and torturing to death ordinary citizens suspected of having connection with Boko Haram. Many of the victims are detained without evidence. Reports suggest widespread torture at 20 sites with over 101 cases of detention between 2013 and 2017. It is believed that these sites still hold dozens of detainees who are being subject to torture and death by torture, Amnesty International said. http://bit.ly/2tlL0A3

Exhumation of post WWII mass grave in Slovenia

The STA news agency from Slovenia reported on Thursday that the exhumation of victims from a new mass grave in Kamnik, Slovenia has begun. The newly discovered mass grave is believed to contain more than 500 remains of victims of WWII and post-war summary executions. So far, the remains of 13 victims have been exhumed. http://bit.ly/2uFCmQA

Forced child migration was United Kingdom’s worst child abuse scandal

The Guardian reported on Thursday that former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has stated that the forced migration of British children to former colonies such as Australia and Canada between the 1940s and 1970s amounted to “government-enforced trafficking”. The programs saw the mass transportation of 130,000 British children overseas. In many cases, children were wrongly told that they were orphans and were separated from their families, culture and sense of identity. Mr. Brown has stated that the surviving 2000 victims of the migrant programs should be given compensation “as a matter of urgency”. http://bit.ly/2uHQCrQ

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.