12 December 2023, Kyiv – The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has announced a donation of material and equipment to the value of EUR 225,000 to support efforts to account for missing persons as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This donation has been made possible by the generous financial support of the European Union Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI) and the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Rights, and Labor (DRL), and highlights the shared commitment of international organizations to address the challenges arising from Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.
The donation will facilitate the application of state-of-the-art DNA human identification techniques and is consistent with ICMP’s recent signing of cooperation agreements with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine.
Mykola Shevchuk, the Head of the Lviv Oblast Rada Communal Enterprise of the Lviv Oblast Bureau of Forensic Expertise said the engagement with ICMP would enable the medical bureau to expand its capacity: “This assistance will significantly contribute to the bureau’s stable and high-quality operations, streamlining the processes involved in forensic molecular genetic research of both material evidence and biomaterials. Consequently, it will expedite the provision of answers to questions about the fate of deceased or missing relatives for numerous families, thereby offering them swifter resolution and closure.”
The Bokarius Institute of Forensic Expertise, under the Ministry of Justice, and the Lviv and Dnipro bureaus of forensic medicine will receive essential laboratory equipment, chemicals, and reagents for DNA testing. This will significantly enhance their capacity to make rapid and accurate identifications.
“Provision of the necessary materials for conducting DNA research will help our forensic experts to quickly perform expert research and obtain substantiated and absolutely accurate results, which will become the evidence base for consideration of cases at the International Criminal Court,” emphasized Serhii Tyuleniev, director of the National Scientific Center “Institute of Forensic Examinations” named after Prof. M. S. Bokarius” under the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, adding that “comprehensive support and assistance from partners provides us with the necessary tools to conduct objective research.”
Valeriy Voychenko, the Head of the Dnipro Oblast Rada Communal Enterprise at the Dnipro Oblast Bureau of Forensic Expertise echoed these sentiments, noting that “partnership with ICMP gives us access to materials and know-how and will make it possible for us to implement our operations more efficiently – and this is what we want to do.”
ICMP is dedicated to supporting families affected by war-related disappearances by ensuring that efforts to identify missing persons are comprehensive and effective.
Oksana Romaniuk – Program Officer Communications and Outreach, ICMP
ICMP is an intergovernmental 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.