Mexican Scientists work on challenging missing persons cases in collaboration with ICMP 

The Hague, 20 March 2020: Three Mexican Forensic experts from the state of Nuevo Leon, working together with scientists from the International Commission on Missing Persons at the ICMP laboratory in The Hague, Netherlands, have successfully obtained DNA results from challenging post-mortem samples of missing persons.  The results were obtained as part of a scientific exchange during which the Mexican experts also strengthened their skills in DNA extraction and genetic testing methods.

The experts from the Institute of Criminalistics and Expert Services, of the Office of the Prosecutor General of the State of Nuevo Leon, explored novel methods to extract and analyze DNA from highly deteriorated skeletal remains during their 9-17 March visit to the ICMP headquarters, which includes a state-of-the-art, high-throughput DNA laboratory. The exchange, organized through the ICMP’s Wim Kok Center for Excellence and Learning, is part of a USAID-funded project the ICMP is implementing with the civil society…

ICMP supports Iraqi authorities in uncovering mass grave near Badoush Prison linked to 2014 Da’esh crimes

March 19, 2020 – The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) is supporting Iraq’s National Team in fieldwork to locate and recover human remains and to document criminal evidence from a mass grave near the Badoush prison.

Forensic work at the site, where Da’esh allegedly massacred hundreds of prisoners in 2014, began 7 March. Experts from Iraq’s Mass Graves Directorate and Medico-Legal Directorate, supported by ICMP, mapped the area and recovered human remains of the site. The team suspended its work on 16 March following the Iraqi government’s decision to restrict movement to prevent the spread of the Corona virus. The site – a shallow ravine- is being safeguarded, and forensic work, including excavations, will resume when the situation allows.

“It is a complex site because the human remains are dispersed over a large area, but the work was going well until it had to be halted due to Covid-19,” said…

Support for female leadership and engagement focus of ICMP DG’s 2020 International Gender Champion Commitments

The Hague, 9 March 2020 – ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger has committed to ensuring that all ICMP global programs will promote female leadership and engagement. This effort, part of her 2020 International Gender Champion commitments, aims to support women whose relatives have gone missing, so that they can become strong human rights advocates and work to secure their rights.

“As an International Gender Champion, I will strive to reduce the plight of women survivors of atrocities.  Silence has long surrounded the issue of missing persons, likely because those left behind tend to be women and children, while most of those who go missing from war, human rights abuses, organized crime and irregular migration are men,” she said.

“Many women don’t report missing person cases out of fear of reprisals, and many may not be aware of their rights, including the right to a proper investigation.”

She noted that ICMP raises global…

Building Skills: Syrian Stakeholders Learn About Missing Persons Process

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The Hague, 6 March 2020: Representatives of civil society organizations involved in Syria learned about the missing persons process in a learning and development program organized by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) through its newly launched ICMP Wim Kok Center of Excellence and Learning.

The new learning program uses a simulation exercise to teach scientists, judges, prosecutors, academics, families of the missing and civil society organizations about the process of locating and identifying missing persons, from reporting a missing person to locating a missing person.  The program also helps “first responders” learn about the importance of documenting the location of irregular gravesites.

Participants in the 27 February simulation exercise learned about each aspect of the missing persons process and the need for securing and centralizing relevant data so that missing persons can be found. The simulation underlined the importance of an integrated system that collects and shares relevant information.

First,…

Iraqi Scientists Strengthen Skills in Using DNA to Identify Missing Persons at ICMP Training

The Hague, 28 February 2020: Four Iraqi scientists from Iraq’s Medico-Legal Directorate (MLD) strengthened their skills in DNA identification methods during training sessions held this month at the headquarters of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).

The training, held 17 to 28 February, was part of ICMP support to Iraqi authorities in developing capacity to handle missing persons cases.

Mr. Ahmed Qasim, Head of MLD’s Extraction Unit, and Mr. Omer Al-Barghooth, Extraction Unit Analyst focused on ICMP’s extraction protocol during a session held the first week, while Ms. Noor Salih, Head of MLD’s Quantification and Amplification Unit, and Ms. Haneen Rakhoo, Head of Capillary Electrophoresis Unit, focused on ICMP’s pre- and post-amplification procedures during a session held the second week.

Iraqi Ambassador Hisham Al-Alawi and staff from the Iraqi Embassy in the Netherlands took part in ceremonies that closed the training sessions.

The training, which included practical sessions at the ICMP’s DNA…

ICMP Photo exhibition in Baghdad underlines importance of cooperation to account for the missing in Iraq

Baghdad, 25 February 2020: A photo exhibition organized by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) and Iraqi institutions tasked with finding missing persons, including the Martyrs’ Foundation and the Ministry of Health was inaugurated this week.  The exhibition, which is supported through ICMP’s EU –funded Iraq program, highlights the magnitude of the missing persons issue in Iraq and showcases the Iraqi National Team’s intensive work to address it.

The exhibition, titled “Missing Persons Can Be Accounted For:  A Strong Partnership between ICMP and the Iraqi National Team”, also illustrates how ICMP is helping its partners in Iraq to build a sustainable and effective missing persons process.

“The photos in this joint exhibition tell a story of hope. They show that with cooperation from all involved, it is possible to find the missing and to help the families of the missing,” said Rasa Ostrauskaite, the Head of ICMP’s Iraq Program.

The Head…

Western Balkans representatives agree on steps forward in search for those who remain missing from 1990s conflicts

"The meeting in Priština, was part of a two-year project funded by the United Kingdom to support the work of ICMP and strengthen regional cooperation"

Priština 31 January 2020: At a meeting of the Missing Persons Group (MPG) this week, representatives for institutions responsible for missing persons issues in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia made key decisions on joint activities in 2020 that will contribute to accounting for persons who are still missing as a result of the 1990s conflicts in former Yugoslavia.

The decisions MPG made at the 30 January meeting in Priština, convened by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), include:

  • A series of bilateral meetings will be held to prioritise joint reconnaissance and excavation of potential locations of mass graves in 2020.
  • MPG members will liaise with ICMP regarding forensic examination and biological sampling of NN (unidentified) cases of human remains in order to facilitate DNA analysis for the purpose of identification of missing persons.
  • MPG will jointly mark the 2020 International Day of the Disappeared and issue…

Implementation of the BiH Law on Missing Persons must be expedited, say members of BiH Missing Persons Institute Advisory Board

Ana Bilic, QA/QC Manager and Deputy Head of the ICMP DNA laboratory, explain techniques used to find missing persons to BiH Missing Persons Institute (MPI) Advisory Board members Fikret Bacic, Amir Kulagic and Jela Mandic during a visit to the ICMP HQ in The Hague, Netherlands, this week.

The Hague 17 January 2020: Authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina must fully implement the provisions of the country’s missing persons law, representatives of the BiH Missing Persons Institute (MPI) Advisory Board emphasized during a visit this week to the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands.

Full implementation of the Law on Missing Persons, which was created in 2004 would require the establishment of a verified BiH Central Record of Missing Persons and the creation of the BiH Fund for Families of the Missing. The Fund would provide financial support to families of the missing, regardless of the national or religious origin of the relative of the missing person, or the circumstances of the disappearance of the missing person.

“We want to work together for all victims. We want government institutions to work together and take responsibility,” said MPI Advisory Board Member Amir Kulaglic. “We have had…

FTESË E HAPUR PËR PROPOZIME PËR GRANTE TË VOGLA TË ICMP PËR SHOQATAT E FAMILJEVE TË PERSONAVE TË ZHDUKUR (FAS)

DATA E LËSHIMIT: 27 DHJETOR 2019

DATA E MBYLLJES: 14 SHKURT 2020

I. PROGRAMI PËR GRANTE TË VOGLA I KOMISIONIT NDËRKOMBËTAR PËR PERSONAT E ZHDUKUR (ICMP)

Komisioni Ndërkombëtar për Personat e Zhdukur (ICMP) fton shoqatat ose organizatat e familjeve të personave të zhdukur dhe organizatat e shoqërisë civile të paraqesin një kërkesë për “Grantet e Vogla të saj për Shoqatat e Familjeve të Personave të Zhdukur (FA)”, në Ballkanin Perëndimor për periudhën 2020-2021″.

ICMP është një organizatë ndërkombëtare e pavarur, e bazuar në traktate, me më shumë se 20 vjet përvojë në 40 vende. Ajo është e vetmja organizatë ndërkombëtare që ka si detyrë ekskluzivisht të punojë për çështjen e personave të zhdukur. Ajo i ndihmon qeveritë të ndërtojnë institucione të sundimit të ligjit dhe që të kërkojnë me sukses dhe paanshmëri dhe të identifikojnë personat e zhdukur, si dhe mbështet përpjekjet për t’u bërë të mundur familjeve të zhdukur të kërkojnë…

OPEN CALL FOR PROPOSALS FOR ICMP´S SMALL GRANTS FOR THE ASSOCIATIONS OF FAMILIES OF MISSING PERSONS (FAS)”, WESTERN BALKANS (2020-2021)

ISSUE DATE: 27-Dec-19

CLOSING DATE: 14-Feb-20

I. 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 and civil society organizations to submit an application for its “Small Grants for the Associations of Families of Missing Persons (FAs)”, Western Balkans 2020-2021”.

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 missing to assert their rights.

II. ABOUT ICMP PROGRAM IN THE WESTERN BALKANS

In the Western Balkans ICMP has supported regional cooperation in the search for the missing; it has worked effectively to foster the development and cooperation of civil…