27 June 2014: The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) applauds the adoption of necessary preconditions for the establishment of an Institute of Legal and Forensic Medicine of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) at yesterday’s session of the House of Representatives (HoR) of the FBIH Parliament. The House of Representatives delegates yesterday adopted amendments to the Law on Ministries of the FBiH and Governing Bodies of FBiH in an abbreviated procedure concerning the establishment of the FBIH Institute for the Legal and Forensic Medicine.
“By adopting amendments to the law at its next session, the FBiH House of Peoples will effectively establish the Institute of Legal and Forensic Medicine. It will be an independent and professional institution that will help safeguard the integrity of forensic analysis and evidence, as well as ensure education, standardization and quality assurance of court medicine experts,” said Klaudia Kuljuh, Chief of Office of the ICMP Western Balkans Program.
“In addition to numerous crime and death investigations generally, there are some 9,000 persons still missing in BiH, of which several thousands are already exhumed and pending forensic analysis and identification. The FBiH Legal Forensic Medicine Institute will help consolidate the existing forensic capacities and help resolve bottlenecks in resolving both criminal cases and war crime cases and accelerate the process of identifying persons missing from armed conflict,” said Matthew Holliday, Head of Western Balkans Program.
Together with family members of missing persons, as well as local experts and the international community, the ICMP has lobbied for several years for the creation of the FBiH Institute of Legal and Forensic Medicine, which will greatly contribute to a more effective judicial system and the rule of law in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The ICMP is the only specialized international organization of its kind that addresses this issue of missing persons in all of its facets. ICMP cooperates with governments to help them develop the institutional capacity they need in order to meet their obligations regarding missing persons.
As part of its broad effort to support institution building, ICMP provides support for specialized agencies dealing with missing persons, and has acted as a founding partner in some of these agencies. Furthermore, ICMP provides training for local police, crime-scene officers, investigators and prosecutors involved in the process.