Posts Categorized: Press Releases

Authorities Must Be Actively Engaged

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Banja Luka, 17 February 2015: The authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina have to engage more actively in the process of accounting for missing persons, speakers at a Town Hall meeting organized in Banja Luka by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) said today.

“The state of BiH is still not showing sufficient effort in providing a solution for this joint problem,” said Milutin Misic, a member of the collegium of directors of the BiH Missing Persons Institute (MPI). “There must be state accountability. One of the obstacles in the process of search and identification is a lack of information – the problem lies in the fact that those who are obliged to give information are not providing it, even though they are legally obliged to do so.”

The meeting brought together representatives of associations of families of missing persons, the MPI, the BiH Prosecutor’s Office, and the BiH Ministry for…

BIH Missing Persons Institute Must Be Strengthened and Supported

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Mostar, 12 February 2015:  The BiH Missing Persons Institute (MPI) is producing remarkable results, Sanja Mulać of the MPI said today at a Town Hall meeting organized by ICMP in Mostar.

“I want to stress that despite the MPI’s limitations, a majority of persons that were registered as missing in Herzegovina at the end of the conflict have been found and identified and we remain committed and we are continuing to work on this process,” Ms Mulać said, adding that “This can be seen by the extraordinary results made during the process of revision of post-mortem remains from Sutina mortuary.”

The meeting brought together representatives of associations of families of missing persons, the MPI, the BiH Prosecutor’s Office, and the BiH Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees to discuss what has been done to resolve missing persons issues in Bosnia and Herzegovina so far, and what has to be done in…

Commitment and Cooperation in Resolving BiH Missing Persons Cases

Town Hall Meeting in Sarajevo
Town Hall Meeting in Sarajevo

The BiH Prosecutor’s Office is committed to the work of searching and identifying missing persons, Deputy Chief Prosecutor Gordana Tadic said today, pointing out that since 2013 the number of prosecutors working on missing persons cases has grown from one to 35.

Ms Tadic was speaking at a Town Hall meeting organized by ICMP at the Hotel Sarajevo in Sarajevo. The meeting brought together representatives of associations of families of missing persons, the BiH Missing Persons Institute (MPI), the BiH Prosecutor’s Office, and the BiH Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees to discuss what has been done to resolve missing persons issues in Bosnia and Herzegovina so far, and what has to be done in the future.

Ema Cekic, from the Association of Families of Missing Persons, Vogosca, called for a common approach by BIH institutions, including the MPI and the State Prosecutor’s Office. “Cooperation among the associations of families of…

New Initiative to Find Missing Persons in Iraq

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Senior government officials and legal experts from Iraq completed a three-day seminar in The Hague today that focused on the use of forensic evidence in court-led processes regarding mass graves and missing persons.

The seminar brought together legal experts from domestic and international courts to assess and strengthen the capacity of the Iraqi justice system to address the issue of the missing effectively, and to formulate specific recommendations for legal reforms that will facilitate progress in this area.

The seminar was organized as part of an initiative of the Iraqi Ministry of Human Rights (MHR).

The seminar examined ways of

  • developing the standing of forensic evidence within Iraqi law to enable it to serve as primary evidence;
  • strengthening the role of prosecutors regarding the collection of forensic evidence;
  • harmonizing the Law on Mass Graves, the Law on Forensics (amended 2013) concerning the Medical Legal Institute, and criminal procedure law;
  • examining legal protections for subjects of forensic…

Former ICMP Director Named in Queen Elizabeth’s New Year’s Honors List

Adam Boys named in the United Kingdom’s New Year’s Honors List as an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
Adam Boys named in the United Kingdom’s New Year’s Honors List as an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire

 

Adam Boys, Director of Operations at the International Commission on Missing Persons until October this year, has been named in the United Kingdom’s New Year’s Honors List as an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. The award recognizes more than 20 years of work in Bosnia and Herzegovina, initially delivering humanitarian aid and subsequently promoting post-war recovery and reconciliation.

“The OBE is a great honor, and I believe it particularly reflects a growing recognition of the importance of the work that ICMP is doing throughout the world to tackle the problem of missing persons in a systematic and effective way,” Boys said.


Boys, who was seriously injured in a car crash while helping to deliver aid in Herzegovina in 1994, served as Chief Financial Officer for the UK’s mission to the International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia in 1995 and 1996….

ICMP Treaty Reflects Urgent Need to Tackle Missing Persons Problem in New Way

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The treaty signed in Brussels on 15 December granting the International Commission on Missing Persons a new legal basis for global operations “reflects an emerging international recognition of the scale and seriousness of the missing persons problem – and the urgent need to address this problem in a new way,” ICMP Commissioner Knut Vollebæk wrote in a column which appeared in the Norwgian daily newspaper Vårt Land today.

“Till recently there tended to be a view that cases of missing persons are an inevitable byproduct of war and disaster and that as such they can be dealt with through humanitarian and disaster-management strategies,” Commissioner Vollebæk wrote. “However, this perception has been radically altered in the last two decades, as the missing persons problem – in every part of the world – has come to be viewed as systemic.”

Noting that “there is now widespread recognition that this is not first and…

Report Cites Achievements, Shortcomings of Missing Persons Search in Western Balkans

Aleksandra Letic, the author of the Report, together with the representatives of Regional Coordination of Family Associations of Missing from Former Yugoslavia and ICMP
Aleksandra Letic, the author of the Report, together with the representatives of Regional Coordination of Family Associations of Missing from Former Yugoslavia and ICMP

The fact that more than 70 percent of those who went missing during the conflicts in former Yugoslavia have been accounted for shows willingness and determination on the part of countries in the Western Balkans to resolve the missing persons issue, a report issued today concludes.

The Regional Assessment Report on the Process of Resolving the Missing Persons Issue is published by the Regional Coordination of Family Associations of Missing from Former Yugoslavia, which comprises family associations from countries in the region.

“The Report provides a comprehensive and objective overview of results in the search for missing persons in Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Kosovo,” said Ljiljana Alvir, President of the Regional Coordination Steering Board. She said the report would serve as “a platform for advocacy and lobbying activities of both the Regional Coordination and family associations of the missing.”

Aleksandra Letic, the author of…

ICMP Will Intensify and Expand Its International Operations

Ms Bomberger was joined at ICMP headquarters in Sarajevo joined by Dutch Ambassador Jurriaan Kraak (also representing Luxembourg), UK Ambassador Edward Ferguson, Swedish Ambassador Fredrik Schiller and Mr. Jean-Pierre Biebuyck representing Belgium, at a press conference explaining the significance of the treaty, which was signed in Brussels on Monday.
Ms Bomberger was joined at ICMP headquarters in Sarajevo joined by Dutch Ambassador Jurriaan Kraak (also representing Luxembourg), UK Ambassador Edward Ferguson, Swedish Ambassador Fredrik Schiller and Mr. Jean-Pierre Biebuyck representing Belgium, at a press conference explaining the significance of the treaty, which was signed in Brussels on Monday.

The International Commission on Missing Persons, which has been working globally since 2003, will be able to intensify and expand its international operations following the signing of an ICMP treaty by the foreign ministers of the Netherlands, the UK, Sweden, Belgium and Luxembourg, ICMP Director General Kathryne Bomberger said today.

Ms Bomberger was joined at ICMP headquarters in Sarajevo by Dutch Ambassador Jurriaan Kraak (also representing Luxembourg), UK Ambassador Edward Ferguson, Swedish Ambassador Fredrik Schiller and Mr. Jean-Pierre Biebuyck representing Belgium, at a press conference to explain the significance of the treaty, which was signed in Brussels on Monday.

“This agreement reflects a new international awareness of the scale and seriousness of the global missing persons problem,” she said. “And it recognizes the success of ICMP’s approach to this problem – which combines an emphasis on building rule-of-law institutions, fostering civil society engagement and applying modern forensic methods and standards, and utilizing…

ICMP Established as International Organization in its Own Right

Ministers ondertekenen International Commission on Missing Perso

The Foreign Ministers of the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Belgium, and Luxembourg signed a Framework Agreement on 15 December that grants a new legal status to the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).

“This Agreement reflects a new international consensus on the issue of missing persons,” ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger said immediately after the signing ceremony. “For decades the problem of missing persons has been treated as a humanitarian issue, or as a disaster-relief issue, or as a war-emergency issue – but it is now recognized as a systemic global challenge that demands a coherent and effective global response.”

Ms. Bomberger said the Agreement gives ICMP the tools it needs in order to remain at the forefront of this global response. “ICMP has been operating around the world for more than a decade: this Treaty means we can spearhead new initiatives in a way that is consistent with and supportive…

Memorializing the Missing of Bosnia and Herzegovina on International Human Rights Day

Members of the Forum on Joint Memorialization of Missing Persons hold silhouettes of missing persons 
Photo: Velija Hasanbegovic, Radio Sarajevo
Members of the Forum on Joint Memorialization of Missing Persons hold silhouettes of missing persons Photo: Velija Hasanbegovic, Radio Sarajevo

Resolving missing persons cases in Bosnia and Herzegovina – even after two decades – is a central and indispensable element in establishing a just and sustainable society, participants at an International Human Rights Day demonstration on behalf of the Missing said.

The Forum on Joint Memorialization of Missing Persons, which brings together representatives of Family Associations and other activists from across Bosnia and Herzegovina, organized a “silhouette of missing persons” event in Sarajevo on 10 December.

“It’s important that families of the missing mark International Human Rights Day, because we have experienced the disappearance of loved ones and we have become their voice. We have to fight for their right to a dignified burial, for their identity,” said Adis Hukanovic, a representative of the Forum. “By making this peaceful walk on International Human Rights Day we want to express our dissatisfaction with the general situation when it comes to finding and…