Posts Categorized: Press Releases

ICMP Receives Turkish Grant

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The International Commission on Missing Persons has received a further grant of US$200,000 from the Government of the Republic of Turkey, as in previous years. This funding will support ICMP’s activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and elsewhere.

“This donation is of great importance to ICMP – apart from its financial value it demonstrates Turkey’s commitment to supporting ICMP’s efforts to help Bosnia and Herzegovina address the issue of persons missing from armed conflict and crimes against humanity, regardless of their national or religious origin,” said ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger. She described the Turkish funding as “an important contribution to future peace and stability.”

Turkish Ambassador Cihad Erginay said “The Government of the Republic of Turkey attaches significant importance to the issue of missing persons as a global matter. As the only specific organization regarding missing persons cases, we have been supporting ICMP from the very beginning. The Balkan region is one…

Key Report on Missing Persons Translated into Arabic, Kurdish

icmp International Commission on Missing Persons - Day 2

ICMP today published Arabic and Kurdish translations of the report on the proceedings of a major international conference on the missing held in The Hague at the end of 2013. The Report, entitled “The Missing: An Agenda for the Future”, provides an overview of the issue of missing persons globally and highlights recommendations made by conference delegates. The conference, held between 29 October and 1 November 2013, was the first of its kind and brought together more than 200 prominent policymakers, human rights activists, scientists and others.

 “The publication of Arabic and Kurdish translations will extend the reach and usefulness of this document. It will be accessible to stakeholders in Iraq and elsewhere. This is crucial because the document lays out steps that communities and countries can take in order to begin addressing the global problem of missing persons in an effective way,” said…

Sweden supports search and identification of missing persons

Marie Bergström, Counsellor at the Embassy of Sweden, and Kathryne Bomberger, Director-General of ICMP, sign agreement on ICMP’s Western Balkans program 2014-2016
Marie Bergström, Counsellor at the Embassy of Sweden, and Kathryne Bomberger, Director-General of ICMP, sign agreement on ICMP’s Western Balkans program 2014-2016

Sarajevo, 17 November 2014 – The Embassy of Sweden today signed an agreement with the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) for ICMP’s Western Balkans program 2014-2016. The agreement is worth 1.9 million Euros over the next two years. Sweden has been a donor to ICMP since 2002 and has through the years contributed to the organization’s crucial role in the region with 3.5 million Euros.

“The work of ICMP in the Western Balkans is important for the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina in supporting legal, operational and institutional capacities to address the missing persons issue effectively,” said Marie Bergström, Counsellor at the Embassy of Sweden.

With its support for the Western Balkans, Sweden maintains its commitment to the cause of missing persons. In the 2014-2016 program ICMP will continue to provide assistance to countries in the region to account for the missing.

“This is a targeted and substantial contribution that will…

A 21st Century Challenge

A mother of missing person pass through wall photos of disappeared persons in Sringar on world disappeared day
A mother of missing person pass through wall photos of disappeared persons in Sringar on world disappeared day

Sarajevo, 13 November 2014 – A new section of the ICMP website came on-line today, making available a massive volume of information on the issue of missing persons throughout the world. “The Missing” section examines the underlying forces – war, migration, organized crime, even climate change – that have turned the problem of missing persons into a major 21st century challenge. It explores the nature and scale of the problem, examines legal, social and political interpretations of what constitutes a missing person, and reviews in detail developments related to missing persons in more than 60 countries.

“This new feature represents a significant expansion of the information provided on the ICMP website, and it also represents a major contribution to analyzing and understanding a pressing global challenge,” said ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger. “Societies recovering from the trauma of conflict, for example, cannot make progress towards reconciliation and recovery as long as…

Initiatives will help efforts to Locate and Identify the Missing

ICMP representatives with visitors from the Croatian Ministry of Defenders, Office for Detained and Missing
ICMP representatives with visitors from the Croatian Ministry of Defenders, Office for Detained and Missing

ICMP-Ministry of Defenders of Croatia Joint Press Release

A Joint Identification Project between Croatia and ICMP was the focus of a meeting today at the International Commission on Missing persons (ICMP) in Sarajevo between Matthew Holliday, head of the ICMP Western Balkans Program and Minister for the Defenders of Croatia Predrag Matic.
Mr. Holliday said the success of the project demonstrated the possibilities for constructive cooperation among countries and agencies. “ICMP has been able to apply forensic and database management techniques in Croatia that have complemented the efforts of the Croatian authorities. It has been a productive partnership,” he said.

Mr Matic expressed his gratitude towards ICMP regarding the established cooperation along with all previous donations and added that “the cooperation established with ICMP contributes to the identification process in the Republic of Croatia and in neighboring countries as well. Croatia has identified over 80% of exhumed persons. This represents a high…

A Global Response to a Global Challenge

Chilean Servicio Médico Legal experts meet staff at ICMP HQ.
Chilean Servicio Médico Legal experts meet staff at ICMP HQ.

Two forensic experts from the Government of Chile have completed a three-day fact-finding visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina, including meetings with staff at the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP). The visit reflects the emergence of a global response to the global challenge of missing persons, in which ICMP is playing a leading role.

The Servicio Médico Legal (SML) is the lead agency in identifying several thousand people who went missing in Chile during the period of military rule from 1973 to 1990. The Chilean authorities have adopted a systematic and law-based approach to finding the missing and to addressing the social tensions created by past human rights violations.

ICMP has been cooperating with the SML since 2008, providing DNA testing of 2,432 reference blood samples and 194 post-mortem samples from missing persons, and offering technical advice on DNA matching.

The visit by SML forensic experts Macarena Arias and Jorge Pinares was…

INTERPOL and ICMP sign agreement to enhance global disaster victim identification efforts

INTERPOL and the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) have signed a formal cooperation agreement to manage and operate a permanent global platform centralizing disaster victim identification (DVI) efforts.

The INTERPOL Permanent Platform for Disaster Victim Identification (PDVI) will be established at the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation in Singapore. The cooperation agreement between INTERPOL and the ICMP outlines the roles each Organization will play in the management and operation of the platform.

The INTERPOL PDVI will serve as a global resource and centre of excellence to enhance preparedness and build on existing capabilities to…

Iraqi Families of Missing Persons Conclude Visit to ICMP

Iraqi delegation from "Ship of Life" NGO at Sarajevo's Liberation Square
Iraqi delegation from "Ship of Life" NGO at Sarajevo's Liberation Square

A delegation of thirteen women from Iraq, who are family members of missing persons, completed a five day visit to ICMP in Bosnia and Herzegovina. During their visit they attended ceremonies to commemorate the International Day of the Disappeared in Sarajevo.

The group comes from different parts of Iraq, including Basra, Iraqi Kurdistan, Diyala, Anbar and Salahaldin, and represent Kurdish, Shia and Sunni women. The group are members of a non-governmental organization called the Ship of Life. The goal of the visit was for the group to was to enhance their knowledege of mechanisms and methodes to address the issue of missing persons.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia sign ICMP’s Declaration on Missing Persons

During the Declaration signing ceremony.
During the Declaration signing ceremony.

“The International Declaration is an historic document which defines for the first time the responsibility of States in accounting for the missing”

Mostar, August 29, 2014 – In an historic event hosted by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), the Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Bakir Izetbegović, President of the Republic of Croatia Ivo Josipović, President of Montenegro Filip Vujanović and President of the Republic of Serbia Tomislav Nikolić signed a “Declaration on the Role of the State in Addressing the Issue of Persons Missing as a Consequence of Armed Conflict and Human Rights Abuses” in Mostar’s City Hall today.

The purpose of the Declaration is to define the role of States in accounting for the missing from conflict and human rights abuses. The first signatories to the international Declaration include those countries and their successor States that were a party to the Dayton Peace Agreement. Of…

Families across the Western Balkans mark the International Day of the Disappeared

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Sarajevo, August 30, 2014  The families of missing persons from the countries of the former Yugoslavia today and yesterday organized commemorative events to mark the International Day of the Disappeared, 30 August. The ICMP applauds the efforts of the families of the missing to mark this day, to raise awareness about the issue of missing persons, to demand accountability from the state, and to jointly pay tribute to the missing regardless of nationality, ethnicity or religion.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, unlike in previous years when one central event was organized on 30th August, this year the family associations of missing persons marked the International Day of the Disappeared in their respective municipalities. Family associations of the missing from 20 municipalities throughout BiH installed an identical symbolic installation at their street gatherings, a carved styrofoam silhouette representing a missing person. Passersby had the opportunity to write messages and place them on…