30 November 2007: As the co-founder of the BiH Missing Persons Institute (MPI), the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) welcomes the decision of the Council of Ministers (CoM) of Bosnia and Herzegovina brought Thursday at their session to adopt the normative documents needed for the MPI to start functioning in full capacity.The CoM adopted a series of normative documents yesterday, allowing the MPI to commence its functions.. These include the MPI Statute, the Rulebook on the Work of the MPI Steering Board, the Rulebook on the Work of MPI Employees, the Internal Organisation and Systematization Rulebook, the Rulebook on Salaries, Compensations and other non-Salary Financial Rights.
“ICMP is delighted that the Council of Ministers adopted the documents that will allow MPI to begin its work before the New Year. This decision will also facilitate the forming of the Fund for Support for Families of Missing Persons, which we hope will be resolved soon,” said Kathryne Bomberger, ICMP Director General.
The first important task of MPI is to establish a single, central record that would include a list of those who went missing during the conflicts. This database will include the records of the Federation Commission on Missing Persons, the Republika Srpska Office on Missing Persons, as well as relevant materials and documents from ICMP and ICRC. The central list will be subjected to a rigorous verification process that will ensure its accuracy. The creation of a unified list of missing persons from the conflicts will not only ensure that governments provide accurate information regarding numbers of missing, but it will also guarantee that all families of missing persons have an equal right to know the fate of their relatives regardless of their ethnic or religious background.
The commencement of work of the MPI brings the Law on Missing Persons, which was adopted in November 2004, one step closer to implementation. The Law safeguards the right of families to know the fate of a missing loved one and to assert their rights for effective domestic remedies. The Law also stipulates the establishment of the Fund for Support for Missing Persons Families. The Fund will secure financial means for realization of the rights of the relatives of missing persons, including support to their associations, and marking of exhumations and burial sites.
The MPI was inaugurated as a State-level body on 30 August 2005 and has taken over the responsibilities, staff and budgets of the entity bodies formerly charged with these responsibilities. The governing structures of the Missing Persons Institute of Bosnia and Herzegovina (MPI) held their inaugural meeting in Sarajevo on 27 June 2007.