Governments are formally required to address the issue of persons missing on their own territory. This requirement is frequently specified in peace treaties; it also derives from human rights conventions and is a fundamental element in the rule of law, including the statutory application of criminal law. However, in the wake of conflict, when resources and capacities are often stretched, meeting this requirement can be exceptionally difficult.
In an effort to support the work of governments ICMP provides the following types of assistance:

  • ICMP provides governments with technical assistance in locating and identifying missing persons, including the use of high-throughput capacity DNA analysis and forensic support in the fields of archeology and anthropology. ICMP technical assistance is provided on the basis of agreements that ICMP concludes with host governments or organizations that may seek ICMP’s support.
  • ICMP assists governments in meeting their legal obligations regarding missing persons and contributes to building institutional capacity. ICMP contributes to transitional justice, provides legislative support, and enhances the capacity of specialized ad hoc agencies, as well as justice sector institutions, including prosecutors, judges, police, and forensic specialists.
  • ICMP supports the development of networks of civil society organizations which advocate for truth, justice, and the rights of family members of missing persons.
  • ICMP responds to requests for documentation and expert reports from international and domestic courts on matters related to war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and other crimes under international law, in line with data protection procedures and other safeguards under ICMP policy.

ICMP also provides disaster relief support and for this purpose participates in disaster preparedness networks operated by INTERPOL, the European Union and other organizations.