A Global Response to a Global Challenge

Embassy of Chile in Hungary facilitates visit by Chilean Servicio Médico Legal experts Macarena Arias and Jorge Pinares;  pictured with ICMP Director-General, Kathryne Bomberger; Director of Forensic Sciences, Thomas Parsons; and Deputy Head of DNA LAB/QA QC Manager, Ana Bilic.
Embassy of Chile in Hungary facilitates visit by Chilean Servicio Médico Legal experts Macarena Arias and Jorge Pinares; pictured with ICMP Director-General, Kathryne Bomberger; Director of Forensic Sciences, Thomas Parsons; and Deputy Head of DNA LAB/QA QC Manager, Ana Bilic.

Wednesday, 1st October, Sarajevo. 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…

ICMP Declaration signing video

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”. The signing event took place in in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on 29 August, 2014, on the eve of the International Day of the Disappeared.

Hear the statements of the event’s participants and see the signing ceremony in the video below.

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…

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.