Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Visits ICMP Headquarters

The Hague, 25 April 2022 – Today, as a part of his official visit to the Netherlands, the Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Šefik Džaferović, visited the Headquarters and DNA laboratory of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) and met with ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger.

Ms. Bomberger and Mr. Džaferović discussed ongoing efforts to account for the 7,000 persons who are still missing from the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the 1990s.

“In the last 25 years, with ICMP assistance and through the pioneering use of DNA, the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina have been able to account for 75 percent of the 30,000 persons who were reported missing from the conflict,” Ms Bomberger said. “This is a ratio that has not been equaled in any other post-conflict country.”

She said the process has enabled families of the missing “to secure their rights to truth and justice”…

OPEN CALL FOR PROPOSALS FOR ICMP´S SMALL GRANTS FOR THE ASSOCIATIONS OF FAMILIES OF MISSING PERSONS AND NGOS FROM BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION ON MISSING PERSONS WESTERN BALKANS PROGRAM

OPEN CALL FOR PROPOSALS FOR ICMP´S SMALL GRANTS FOR THE ASSOCIATIONS OF FAMILIES OF MISSING PERSONS AND NGOS FROM BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

WESTERN BALKANS (2022-2023)

ISSUE DATE: 22 April 2022

CLOSING DATE: 20 May 2022

1.  INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION ON MISSING PERSONS (ICMP) SMALL GRANTS PROGRAM

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) invites associations or organizations of families of missing persons to submit an application for its “Small Grants for the Associations of Families of Missing Persons and NGOs from Bosnia and Herzegovina 2022-2023”.

ICMP is an independent, treaty-based international organization with more than 20 years of experience in 40 countries. It is the only international organization tasked exclusively to work on the issue of missing persons. It helps governments build rule-of-law institutions that successfully and impartially search for and identify missing persons, and it supports efforts to enable families of the…

ICMP Convenes Meeting of International Organizations to Support Libya’s Missing Persons Work

The Hague, 8 April 2022 – The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) convened this week an online coordination meeting between international organizations whose work is relevant to supporting Libya’s efforts to locate missing and disappeared persons from armed conflict, human rights abuses, migration and other circumstances.

The focus of the “Interagency Roundtable” is to support Libya’s efforts to create a sustainable missing persons strategy. The meeting follows the creation of a Libyan Expert Group on Missing and Disappeared Persons, which was launched in The Hague on 20 March 2022 with ICMP’s facilitation.

Speaking on Thursday at the roundtable meeting, ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger said an effective missing persons process in Libya will benefit from the creation of a central record, enhanced cooperation between the relevant institutions, a program of capacity building, and a dedicated DNA workflow to find all missing persons, regardless of ethnic, national or religious background, whether they…

ICMP statement on recent visit to Yerevan and Baku to address the issue of missing persons

The Hague, 7 April 2022: The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) welcomes the outcomes of discussions on the situation in the South Caucasus yesterday, in Brussels, at a meeting of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, and hosted by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel.

The ICMP Director General, Ms. Kathryne Bomberger, visited Armenia last week and Azerbaijan this week for high-level meetings at the invitation of the respective governments to discuss effective cooperation to locate persons missing as a result of armed conflicts in the region. ICMP was assured of the political will of both countries to step-up the efforts of their respective institutions to account for missing persons, thereby giving answers to their families and advancing confidence and peaceful coexistence.

ICMP will in the short-term present both governments with a plan proposing…

Policy Coordination Group, Families of the Missing, Activists & UN Representatives Discuss Syria’s Missing at ICMP-facilitated Roundtable

The Hague, 25 March 2022: – The Syrian Policy Coordination Group (PCG), together with families of the missing, and civil society representatives, discussed an international mechanism for Syria’s Missing and Disappeared with representatives of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) at a roundtable today facilitated by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).

Today’s discussion followed up on the eighth session of the PCG earlier this month, at which participants called for a meeting to discuss a new international mechanism.

On 24 December 2021, the UN General Assembly (Resolution 76/228) asked Secretary-General António Guterres to conduct a study on missing persons in Syria, in consultation with the OHCHR. OHCHR announced that the study would endeavor to bolster efforts, including through existing measures and mechanisms, to clarify the fate and whereabouts of missing persons from Syria, identify human remains and provide support to families “with the…

Madeleine Albright: An Inspiration To Women Who Organize and Campaign for Justice

Photo: United States Department of State

The Hague, 25 March 2022: – The Chair of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), Ambassador Thomas Miller, paid tribute today to the former US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, who died this week at the age of 84.

“Secretary Albright’s remarkable life, beginning with exile from Czechoslovakia to escape Nazi and then Communist persecution, sustained a commitment to principled leadership,” Ambassador Miller said, noting that “several of my fellow Commissioners either worked with or for Secretary Albright and can personally attest to her tenacity, integrity, warmth, and friendship.”

Ambassador Miller said that this principled leadership was at the heart of US support for ICMP when in the late 1990s it began to develop an effective model to help governments account for missing persons from disasters, conflicts and other causes.

ICMP was established just months before Madeleine Albright’s appointment as Secretary of State, and during her tenure, which saw the countries of…

Expert Group on Missing and Disappeared Persons Launched to Account for Missing in Libya

The Hague, 20 March: — The newly-formed Libyan Expert Group on Missing and Disappeared Persons held its first meeting in The Hague this week. The work of the Expert Group, is supported by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) and includes representatives from the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Interior, the General Authority for the Search and Identification of Missing Persons (GASIMP), and other Libyan forensic, judicial and law enforcement experts.

This week’s meeting focused on steps that will strengthen the legal and institutional framework in Libya, enhance standards and procedures applied in investigations, strengthen forensic capacities, and enhance data privacy measures and work with families of the missing. Participants also discussed measures that are urgently needed to protect and investigate mass graves in and around Tarhuna.

Speaking on Saturday at the close of the two-day meeting, ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger said an effective missing persons process in Libya…

Families of the Missing from the Western Balkans Strengthen Cooperation through New Regional Coordination Network

Sarajevo, 17 March 2022 – On Tuesday in Sarajevo, family associations of missing persons from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) establishing the Regional Coordination Network.

“This MoU reaffirms the commitment of the family associations to working together to secure truth, justice and reparations through a mechanism in which all families and all associations have equal rights and duties,” said Kathryne Bomberger, the Director-General of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).

Director-General Bomberger described the agreement as “historic” and she said “Ensuring coordination of family associations from all across the region and enabling them to hold governments accountable to conduct credible investigations is key to ensuring that the remaining missing persons are accounted for.”

ICMP has spearheaded the regional effort that has made it possible to account for more than 70 percent of those who went missing during the conflicts of the 1990s,…

ICMP Presents Human Identification Methods at Forensic Training For Syrian Families of the Missing and Civil Society Organizations

The Hague, 15 March 2022: ICMP has presented a series of three training sessions to civil society organizations (CSOs) and families of the missing in Northeast Syria. The training, which concluded yesterday, introduced scientific methods to facilitate the location and identification of missing persons, with a focus on forensic processes and safeguarding forensic evidence.

The 60 participants learned about the role of families and CSOs in finding and reporting mass graves, familiarization with ICMP’s Online Inquiry Center, safeguarding mass graves, and risk assessments when safeguarding mass graves. Participants applied knowledge gained during the training by using the Carana missing persons simulation developed by ICMP.

“The role of families is central in an effective missing persons process,” said the Head of ICMP’s Syria/MENA Program, Lena Alhusseini. “Families must be actively engaged in securing their rights to justice, truth and reparations, and the work we have been doing through these courses is designed…

ICMP-Facilitated Syrian Policy Coordination Group Releases Paper on Future Missing Persons Legislation

Photo from previous PCG meeting.

The Hague, 11 March 2022: The Policy Coordination Group (PCG), a Syrian-led initiative on the missing and disappeared facilitated by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), released a paper at an event this week on proposed legislation designed to support a process of finding missing persons from the Syria conflict1. It is hoped that such legislation would be considered in the context of future deliberations on a political settlement.  The proposed legislation also addresses measures to secure the rights of victims and their families.

“The proposed law is a step forward in the process of ensuring that the rights of missing persons, survivors, and their families are safeguarded in a future Syria,” said the Head of ICMP’s Syria/MENA Program, Lena Alhusseini.

During its session this week, the PCG also discussed a draft paper on investigations related to mass graves in Syria. This paper proposes measures that would help to identify the…