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

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“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” 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 the…

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…

Message from the ICMP Director General Kathryne Bomberger on the occasion of the International Day of the Disappeared

Kathryne Bomberger speaks at the ICMP convention in The Hague, Netherlands.
Kathryne Bomberger speaks at the ICMP convention in The Hague, Netherlands.

Declaration “On the Role of the State in Addressing the Issue of Persons Missing as a Consequence of Armed Conflicts and Human Rights Abuses”

Around the world there are millions of reported cases of missing persons from armed conflict and human rights abuses. In addition, thousands of persons go missing every year as a result of disasters, human trafficking, organized crime and other causes. Yet the issue is a silent one.

Tomorrow in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the eve of the International Day of the Disappeared, the heads of state of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia will mark an historic occasion.  They will become the first signatories of 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.”

The Declaration seeks to highlight the primary responsibility of State authorities in addressing the issue of…

A delegation of British parliamentarians visits ICMP

A delegation of politicians from the United Kingdom visit ICMP" title="A delegation of politicians from the United Kingdom visit ICMP
A delegation of politicians from the United Kingdom visit ICMP" title="A delegation of politicians from the United Kingdom visit ICMP

A group of British parliamentarians visited the facilities of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in Tuzla today. The goal of the visit was for the parliamentarians to learn about ICMP’s efforts towards resolving the issue of missing persons in the Western Balkans and in other parts of the world.

The visit was part of the Conservative Party’s international social action project known as Project Maja, which was founded by Foreign Office Minister, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi. The delegation was led by Eric Ollerenshaw MP and Baroness Fiona Hodgson and included Lord Tariq Ahmad, Jackie Doyle-Price MP, Karen Lumley MP, Caroline Nokes MP, Stephen Metcalfe MP, Andrew Bingham MP and the Earl of Courtown.

ICMP joins INTERPOL in Responding to Malaysian Airlines Flight MH 17 Crash

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) and INTERPOL Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) experts have been invited to provide assistance in identifying victims of the Malaysian Airlines flight MH 17 crash. The team will deploy within 48 hours.

ICMP is an international, independent, non-profit organization which provides assistance to governments in locating and identifying persons missing from conflict, human rights abuses, disasters, organized crime and other causes. As part of its assistance, ICMP uses modern forensic methods that incorporates the use of DNA technology to assist in large scale human identification efforts.

Created in 1996 at a G-7 Summit in Lyon, France to assist in locating missing persons from the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, the organization has gone on to assist over 25 countries in addressing missing persons cases from many different types of scenarios. To date, ICMP has made almost 20,000 identifications based on the use…

Missing Persons from the 1990s Conflicts in Bosnia to be Buried on Sunday in Prijedor

Family members in Krajina Identification Project (Sejkovaca mortuary)
Family members in Krajina Identification Project (Sejkovaca mortuary)

The mortal remains of 284 people from Prijedor and the surrounding area will be laid to rest during a joint commemorative event in Kozarac, Prijedor, on Sunday. The victims, who went missing during the conflicts of the 1990s relevant to Bosnia and Herzegovina, were recovered and identified with the assistance of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP). It is estimated that over 6,000 persons went missing from the Krajina region (about 20 municipalities in Northwest Bosnia and Herzegovina), primarily during 1992 and about 1,700 are still missing.

Thousands of family members and friends paid their respects today to 175 newly identified victims

Family members gathered at Srebrenica memorial cemetery.
Family members gathered at Srebrenica memorial cemetery.

Thousands of family members and friends paid their respects today to 175 newly identified victims of the 1995 Fall of Srebrenica, the only recognized genocide on European soil since WWII. Almost 7,000 persons out of around 8,100 missing from July 1995 have been scientifically identified with ICMP’s assistance.

„ICMP today feels the pain of the families who are burying their loved ones in Potocari. Over the years ICMP has sought to help families of the missing and local Bosnian institutions, including the Missing Persons Institute, the BiH Prosecutor’s Office and Court and other local agencies, in the extremely difficult task of locating and identifying missing persons from the conflicts of the 1990s in the former Yugoslavia,” said ICMP Director General Kathryne Bomberger. „We hope to continue to assist in locating the approximately 9,000 persons still missing from the BIH conflict, including the 1,000 persons still missing from Srebrenica.“

ICMP Welcomes the Adoption for Preconditions to Establish a Legal and Forensic Medicine Institute in FBIH

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…

ICMP Conference Report, The Missing: An Agenda for the Future Published

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) issued a comprehensive Report from its conference on the issue of missing persons “The Missing: An Agenda for the Future”. The report provides an overview of the issue of missing persons globally and highlights recommendations made by the conference delegates.

The ICMP conference was the first of its kind and it gathered together more than 200 prominent policymakers, human rights activist, scientists, academia, journalists, representatives of victim and survivor groups from Libya, Mexico, Thailand, Bosnia and Herzegovina, United States of America, Syria, Croatia, Iraq, Serbia and other countries to discuss missing persons cases from all causes.

ICMP calls on Nigerian authorities to step up the search for missing girls

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) expresses its deep concern over the fact that more than three weeks have passed since 276 Nigerian students were abducted on 14 April 2014 by a militant group in this country. ICMP is therefore calling on the Nigerian authorities to immediately take effective measures to remedy the situation by ending this ongoing crime against humanity.

According to reports, school girls were taken away at gunpoint by a militant religious fundamentalist group Boko Haram who are opposed to girls’ education. The number of abducted girls had risen last week when new abductions took place. However, the authorities of the state of Nigeria have yet to organize a substantial effort aimed at locating and liberating its missing citizens.

Nigeria is a party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child that places obligations on the State to ensure the realization of the rights set forth…