8 March 2013: The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) have concluded an agreement on cooperation in matters of common interest. A formal agreement was signed today in Geneva, Switzerland, by IOM Director General William Lacy Swing and ICMP Director General Kathryne Bomberger.
According to the agreement, the main areas of cooperation between the two international organizations will be to address the issue of missing persons from migration, displacement, human trafficking, and other causes. IOM and ICMP will also cooperate in conducting research studies on matters of mutual interest and other areas.
While ICMP estimates that millions of persons are missing as a consequence of armed conflict and violations of human rights, there are no precise numbers regarding how many persons are missing from migration, displacement and organized violence, including human trafficking and drug related violence.
According to the United Nations there are an estimated 214 million international migrants today and the World Bank believes that this number could nearly double to 405 million by 2050.
“This agreement will benefit both IOM and ICMP, building on synergies between our two organizations. IOM’s global reach and expertise in human mobility, particularly in post-crisis situations resulting in displacement, and in the fields of irregular migration, human trafficking and migration management, clearly complement ICMP’s recognized expertise in the tracing and identification of missing persons,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing.
“The issue of persons missing due to migration, displacement or human trafficking knows no international, regional or other boundaries. In addition, there are currently no viable mechanisms in place to locate persons missing for involuntary reasons on an international level. Through our cooperation with IOM, we would seek to understand the global nature and scale of the missing persons problem and to find the means to locate and identify missing persons in coordination with relevant international and domestic institutions. We look forward to jointly tackling this issue with IOM,” said ICMP Director General Kathryne Bomberger.
Information about IOM and ICMP for editors:
Established in 1951, IOM is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners. With 149 member states, a further 12 states holding observer status and offices in over 130 countries, IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It does so by providing services and advice to governments and migrants. IOM is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
ICMP was created in 1996, following the G-7 Summit in Lyon, France. ICMP endeavors to secure the co-operation of governments and other authorities in locating and identifying persons missing as a consequence of wars, human rights abuses and natural disasters, or other involuntary reasons, and to assist them in doing so. Since its establishment ICMP has been funded through donations and contributions from more than 20 countries. As part of its DNA-identification efforts ICMP has helped in the scientific identification of over 18,000 missing persons globally.
Information for media representatives:
International Organization for Migration
Senior Media & Communications Officer, Spokesperson
Office: +41 22 717 94 86
Mobile: +41 79 103 87 20
International Commission on Missing Persons
Office: +387 33 280 817
Mobile: +387 61 484 113