24 April 2015: Members of the Forum on the Memorialization of Missing Persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina today presented a petition to the BiH Council of Ministers, the BiH Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees, and the BiH Parliament.
The petition calls on the authorities to proclaim 30 August as the “Official Day of Remembrance of All the Missing.” It also calls for full implementation of the Law on Missing Persons – which stipulates, among other things, that the authorities have an obligation to support memorialization of the missing. And it calls on the authorities, from this 30 August, to begin presenting an annual report on implementation of the Law.
“The initiative to make 30 August the “Official Day of Remembrance of All the Missing has the support of a broad cross-section of family associations from every part of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” said Forum representative Ema Cekic. “It is inclusive, appropriate and long overdue. All of the missing, whatever their name, whatever their religion, wherever in Bosnia and Herzegovina they may come from, all of the missing deserve to be remembered with respect.”
The date 30 August has been chosen because this is the International Day of the Disappeared, a day on which people in countries all over the world remember those who have gone missing as a result of conflict, crime and political violence.
“The initiative to make 30 August the Official Day of Remembrance of All the Missing is important,” said Ms. Cekic, “not only because it is based on inclusiveness and tolerance but because it will highlight the obligation of the authorities to address issues raised by Family Associations and individuals whose only demand is that they are able to access the rights to which they are entitled under the law.”
The Forum on Joint Memorialization of Missing Persons brings together representatives of Family Associations and other activists from across Bosnia and Herzegovina. This and other initiatives undertaken by the Forum have been supported by the International Commission on Missing Persons.
ICMP endeavors to secure the co-operation of governments and other authorities in locating and identifying persons missing as a result of conflicts, human rights abuses, disasters, organized violence and other causes and to assist them in doing so. ICMP also supports the work of other organizations in their efforts, encourages public involvement in its activities and contributes to the development of appropriate expressions of commemoration and tribute to the missing.