On the occasion of August 30, the International Day of the Disappeared, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) would like to remind States of their obligation to address the problem of missing persons resulting from armed conflicts. Repairing the wounds of the past through truth and justice is a precondition for a peaceful future, not only for the individual relatives and victims, but also for the whole society.
The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) and the Union of Ex Camp Inmates of Bosnia and Herzegovina signed today in Sarajevo an agreement on support for a project on reparations, which includes organizing an international conference to discuss models of reparations for victims of torture and other war victims.The conference planned to take place from 15-17 September entitled “Transitional Justice: Reparations For War Victims – Models and Recommendations” should result in concrete recommendations to state institutions and other decision makers on possible types of reparations programs for war victims, including specific measures for rehabilitation of torture victims. The Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees started a process in 2006 to draft a new state level law on “Rights of torture and civilian war victims.”
During his visit to the identification facilities of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in Tuzla on Monday, the High Representative, Christian Schwarz-Schilling, said he was impressed with the work that has been done in the identification of missing persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In his first visit to ICMP’s facilities, the High Representative toured the Identification Coordination Division (ICD) and the Podrinje Identification Project (PIP).ICMP uses science as tool to address one of the biggest human rights issues facing BiH today. ICMP has pioneered the use of DNA as primary tool in missing persons identification, demonstrating success on massive scale. To learn about ICMP’s scientific methods, Christian Schwarz-Schilling toured the ICMP ICD, the center which stores, archives and matches all blood samples taken from relatives of missing persons and all bone samples taken from exhumed mortal remains.
The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has received a further contribution from the Government of Ireland towards its work in the former Yugoslavia. The 150,000 Euro contribution was the second installment of a two-year commitment made by the Government of Ireland in 2005.”The continued funding by Irish Aid underlines the commitment of the Government of Ireland to resolving the issue of missing persons. This is an important step in post-conflict institution building, peace initiatives and reconciliation,” said ICMP Chief of Staff Kathryne Bomberger, when the funding was announced. “The Government of Ireland has been a valued supporter of the activities of ICMP since 2002; such support is vital for the continuation of this important work,” she added.