ICMP and Nadia’s Initiative Launch Collaborative Effort to Help Families of Missing Persons

The Hague, 11 December 2021: – The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) and Nadia’s Initiative, the international non-governmental organization founded by Nobel Peace Laureate and Yazidi survivor Nadia Murad, have agreed to partner on efforts to provide support to families of missing individuals in Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding signed by ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger and Nadia’s Initiative Executive Director Abid Shamdeen at ICMP’s Headquarters in The Hague today, the two organizations will implement a series of activities throughout 2022 designed to support the families of persons who went missing as a result of conflict and human rights abuses. Nadia’s Initiative and ICMP will develop learning and development programs to educate family members on the responsibilities of the state, legal frameworks, excavation and identification processes, and memorial events for missing persons. This knowledge will, in turn, help build civil leadership capacity, particularly that of female leaders in the region.

ICMP Director-General, Kathryne Bomberger, stressed that “the MoU that was signed today is important for the joint efforts of ICMP and Nadia’s Initiative to unite and empower families of the missing. The process of finding missing persons is the responsibility of the State and families of the missing must be at the center of this process.” She added that, “ICMP looks forward to the joint collaboration, which will benefit the victims and the affected communities.”

“The Yazidi community has been waiting more than seven years for coordinated efforts to search for and rescue the nearly 2,800 women and children who are still missing. Nadia’s Initiative is looking forward to collaborating with ICMP to jointly use our resources to bridge this gap and support government search and rescue efforts. Our collaboration will hopefully encourage others to invest time and resources in search and rescue,” said Shamdeen. “We owe it to survivors and those still in captivity to do everything in our power to bring missing Yazidis home and reunite them with their families.”

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Nadia’s Initiative’s is dedicated to rebuilding communities in crisis and advocating globally for survivors of sexual violence. The Initiative’s current work is focused on the sustainable re-development of the Yazidi homeland in Sinjar, Iraq. The initiative partners with local communities and local and international organizations to design, support, and implement projects that promote the restoration of education, healthcare, livelihoods, WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), culture, and women’s empowerment in the region. All Nadia’s Initiative programs are community-driven, survivor centric, and designed to promote long term peace-building.

ICMP is a treaty-based international organization with Headquarters in The Hague, the Netherlands. Its mandate is to secure the cooperation of governments and others in locating missing persons from conflict, human rights abuses, disasters, organized crime, irregular migration and other causes and to assist them in doing so. It is the only international organization tasked exclusively to work on the issue of missing persons.

ICMP’s work in Iraq is financed by Germany, the Netherlands and the United States Department of State.