Daily World News Digest, 23 June 2015

Security Council has “obligation to act now” to protect civilians from Islamic State

Big News Network reports today that an expert from the UN’s Geneva-based Human Rights Council appealed today for the Security Council to take immediate action to enforce international law and protect civilians living “in daily fear for their lives” in areas controlled by Islamic State, where “shocking crimes are being committed on an industrial scale.” “The Security Council has an obligation to act,” Ben Emmerson, the Special Rapporteur on the protection and promotion of human rights while countering terrorism, was quoted as saying in a press release on the presentation of his latest report on the gross violations committed by Islamic State. Mr. Emmerson described in his report how different entities have found clear evidence of persecution and summary execution of religious and ethnic minority communities on a mass scale, arbitrary execution of community leaders, journalists, intellectuals and others, mass disappearances, forced religious conversions and systematic torture. “Mutilated corpses are put on public display as a deterrent,” it said. “Systematic gender-based violence, rape and sexual slavery are a part of everyday life. Homosexual men are routinely targeted on grounds of their sexuality.” http://bit.ly/1LyhNoc

£80million a year to find missing people…but 99% turn up safe and well

The Scottish Daily Express reports today that Scotland spends up to £80million year searching for tens of thousands of missing people, according to a newly published report. Police deal with about 32,000 missing person investigations each year – but in 99 percent of cases the person is found safe and well. However, such inquiries are “resource intensive” and Police Scotland estimate they foot a bill of up to £80million annually. The study by the Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) said missing person cases equate to around 1.2 percent of police incidents. Many people go missing on multiple occasions, the research found, with 10 youngsters from children’s homes in Aberdeen responsible for 290 reports alone – including one youngster who went “missing” on 45 occasions. However, there are more than 600 people classed as long-term missing. The report said police “inherited a complex and divergent approach” to missing person investigations with the – now defunct – eight regional police forces using different systems and risk assessment procedures. The police now have a National Missing Person Unit to “standardize and improve the effectiveness” of investigations. http://bit.ly/1SFqktw

Migrants on Hungary’s border fence: “We will not accept this wall”

The Guardian carried a story on 22 June on Hungary’s plans to build a 4 meter-high fence along its 110-mile border with Serbia to stop migrants on the Balkan land route, making an already perilous journey even harder. “This is a necessary step,” the government’s spokesman, Zoltán Kovács, told the Guardian by phone from Budapest. “We need to stop the flood.” Rights groups see the move as the obvious conclusion of a wave of government-led xenophobia. In recent months, Kovács’s colleagues have conflated immigrants with extremists, announced a national consultation on the twin themes of migration and terrorism, and floated the idea of placing all migrants internment camps. http://bit.ly/1GC5mGE

Displacement and Fear Continue in Lake Chad Region

Doctors without Borders carried a story on 22 June saying that in northeast Nigeria’s Borno State, ongoing conflict between Boko Haram and the Nigerian army and recurring attacks on civilians have forced thousands of people to flee their homes. There are currently more than 1.5 million displaced people in the area, according to UNHCR. Refugees continue to arrive daily in the camps established by national authorities in the Extreme North region. While most are internally displaced within Nigeria, some 157,000 more have fled to neighboring Niger, Chad, and Cameroon since January 2015. The security situation in Borno State remains extremely volatile and tense. There are more than one million internally displaced people (IDPs) in Borno, and around 400,000 of them currently live in Maiduguri, the main town of the region. Many are being helped by local communities, while 77,758 are gathered in 13 IDP camps in the city. http://bit.ly/1GDZMDB

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.