The Hague, 17 June 2019: The International Commission on Missing Persons brought key international organizations together at its Headquarters in The Hague today to take part in a consultative roundtable on next steps in the Joint Process to Account for Persons Missing as a Result of Migration in the Mediterranean Region.
In June last year, at a conference organized by ICMP in Rome, Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Malta asserted their intention to develop a Joint Process to coordinate their responses to the issue of missing migrants. The Joint Process countries held their second meeting on 13 June at ICMP Headquarters in The Hague.
At today’s roundtable, ICMP presented the findings of the survey it carried out, as part of the Joint Process, at the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019 to assess the scope and extent of investigatory capacities in the four countries. ICMP also presented proposals for action arising from the survey, which were discussed at the 2nd meeting of the Joint Process.
Discussion at today’s meeting focused on how international and other organizations can continue to support the Joint Process effectively as participating countries endeavour to implement the proposals.
Globally, almost 31,000 migrants are reported to have died or to have gone missing since the beginning of 2014, of whom more than 18,500 were lost on the Mediterranean route. Around 2,300 migrants died trying to cross the Mediterranean in 2018; more than 490 died in the first five months of this year. In 2018, almost 20,000 unaccompanied children applied for international protection in the European Union. European governments have reported that child migrants have disappeared in significant numbers after their arrival in Europe. The authorities believe some of these children may be victims of trafficking, slavery, sexual exploitation and other criminal activities.
Representatives of Eurojust, Europol, the International Criminal Court, IOM, ICRC, Interpol, UNHCR attended today’s meeting.
ICMP’s Missing Migrants Program is supported by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. ICMP’s Syria-MENA program is supported by the European Union’s service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI).
ICMP is a treaty-based international 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.