Daily World News Digest, 31 January 2018


Cyprus: accounting for the missing “will promote reconciliation”

The UN Security Council has renewed the six-month mandate for the peacekeeping force in Cyprus, Unficyp, urging all sides to renew their political will and commitment to a settlement under UN auspices and noting that the status quo was unsustainable. The Council called for agreement on and implementation of further steps to build trust between the communities, including the opening up of access to all areas to allow the Committee on Missing Persons to carry out its work “trusting that this process will promote reconciliation between the communities”. http://bit.ly/2GwmAuv

Australia: call for a nationwide missing persons lab

An Australian publication examines the advantages of establishing a nationwide laboratory solely dedicated to missing persons casework. Around 38,000 Australians are reported missing each year, around half of whom are young people. A small percentage are never accounted for. Around 2,000 missing persons cases and 500 unidentified sets of human remains are believed to be outstanding. http://bit.ly/2DQQDzq

Amnesty urges Philippines to hold police to account

Amnesty International’s Southeast Asia and Pacific Director James Gomez has called on authorities in the Philippines to “stop solving drug problems at gunpoint”. He says that police have been allowed “to operate in a culture of almost total impunity” though he describes as a positive step the decision by the Department of Justice to file murder charges against three police officers accused of killing a teenager in August last year. http://bit.ly/2ntn9g7

Missing migrants on US-Mexico border

At least 7,209 people have died while crossing the southwestern border of the US illegally over the past 20 years. A report by the aid group No More Deaths claiming that Border Patrol agents routinely sabotage humanitarian efforts has highlighted tensions between federal agents and volunteers who try to help migrants. While humanitarian groups argue Border Patrol is purposely funneling migrants into dangerous sections along the U.S.-Mexico border, agents on the ground say it is mostly smugglers who lead migrants into these hazardous areas. Smugglers lie to migrants about the duration of the journey and the harsh environment, Passement says. Migrants are often beaten and raped by smugglers and left behind in the desert. http://bit.ly/2E39W84

Migrant relocations from Italy and Greece drawing to a close

Germany has said it is resettling the last few migrants from Greece and Italy under the EU’s relocation scheme. Germany took in just over one-third of the expected number of refugees under the agreement. The program to relocate migrants landing in Greece and Italy was launched by the EU in the wake of the 2015 migrant crisis. Initially, EU member states agree to relocate some 160,000 refugees but the number was revised to just under 100,000 after officials found that fewer people were eligible under the scheme than first expected. http://bit.ly/2ntqawK

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.