Erbil, 4 May 2023: – The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), together with its Iraqi partners, launched today a “Short Guide for Families of the Missing in Iraq” in an event held in Erbil. The guide aims to assist Iraqi families of the missing and other members of Iraqi Civil Society better understand how the missing persons process in Iraq works and outlines the process that Iraq is undertaking to account for the missing, and explains the steps that families can take to secure their rights to truth, justice and reparation regardless of sectarian, or national background or the time period, location, or circumstances of the disappearance of their loved ones.
“ICMP’s mandate is to help the Iraqi authorities to enhance their capacity to conduct effective investigations to account for all missing persons,” said ICMP director-general Kathryne Bomberger. “The guide will help bridge the gap between the families and their inquiries about their rights, the needed procedures, and their responsibilities.”
The Iraqi Government estimates of the number of missing persons in Iraq because of conflict, human rights violations and atrocities ranges from about 250,000 to more than 1 million. The estimate includes persons missing from the defunct Ba’ath regime, the Iran-Iraq war, and the Gulf Wars, as well as those who have disappeared since 2003.
“We, as families of the missing, must strive to promote peace within our communities, and ensure that such atrocities never happen again. Each of us has a responsibility to advocate for the rights of families of the missing, and work towards a better future for ourselves and future generations.”
The Short Guide for Families of the Missing in Iraq was produced with the financial support of the Federal Foreign Office – Germany and the Government of the Netherlands. The guide is a joint publication by the ICMP, the Martyrs Foundation’s Mass Graves Directorate and the Ministry of Health’s Medico-Legal Directorate and is available in English, Arabic, Badini, and Sorani.
ICMP is a treaty-based 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. It is the only international organization tasked exclusively to work on the issue of missing persons.