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…

Communication among All Stakeholders Is Essential in Accounting for the Missing

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Participants at meetings organized this week by ICMP in Tuzla and Brcko – the first of a series of Town Hall meetings that will be held throughout the country during February – unanimously agreed that the book-length Stocktaking Report published by ICMP, which describes two decades of work on accounting for missing persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is a valuable platform for further dialogue on missing persons issues based on documented facts.

“We find and we feel that the issue of missing persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been addressed by ICMP without any kind of discrimination,” Milja Mitrovic of the Bijeljina Association of Missing Persons and the RS Association of Missing Persons said at the conclusion of today’s meeting in Brcko. “The presentation of the Stocktaking Report reflects this.”

At both meetings, representatives of associations of families of missing persons, the BiH Missing Persons Institute, the BiH Prosecutor’s Office, and…

Libyan Experts Launch initiative to Address Missing Persons Issue

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At a meeting in The Hague this week, senior officials and legal experts from Libya launched an initiative to strengthen the Libyan justice system’s capacity to address the issue of missing persons.

Participants at a seminar organized by the International Commission on Missing Persons on Monday and Tuesday and entitled “Criminal Procedure and the Use of Evidence in Court-led Processes on Mass Graves and Missing Persons in Libya,” focused on how to expand the use of forensic evidence in court-led processes, and on clarifying inter-institutional responsibilities and legal obligations to family members of the missing.

While considerable progress has been made in building the technical capacity of the Libyan authorities, there are crucial gaps in the institutional and legal framework that need to be addressed in order to locate and identify the missing.

Recent political instability and violence has made it difficult to address much-needed legal reforms in a conclusive way, in…

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 FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT: AN OVERVIEW

Ministers ondertekenen International Commission on Missing Perso

Introduction

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) was established in 1996 at a G7 Summit in Lyon, France, to secure the co-operation of governments and other authorities in locating and identifying persons missing as a result of the armed conflicts in the former Yugoslavia. The approach of working together with governments and other authorities, including courts and prosecutors, as well as ensuring the engagement of civil society, has proven to be highly effective. Today, over 70% of those reported missing have been accounted for from the conflicts in the Western Balkans.

ICMP’s mandate and activities were expanded in 2003 to enable the organization to work globally and to respond to cases of manmade and natural disasters. Subsequently, since 2004, ICMP has assisted countries around the world in addressing missing persons cases from conflict, human rights abuses, manmade and natural disasters, organized crime, human trafficking, migration and other causes.

Countries outside the…

Meeting the Challenge of Missing Persons: ICMP Becomes Treaty-Based International Organization

From Mexico to Syria, an epidemic of missing persons cases. Governments take initiative to tackle global problem with signing of ICMP treaty.
From Mexico to Syria, an epidemic of missing persons cases. Governments take initiative to tackle global problem with signing of ICMP treaty.

The case of the 43 abducted Mexican students has drawn the world’s attention to the issue of enforced disappearances. Yet the Mexican case is no more than a microcosm of a global problem – an epidemic of missing persons has arisen from the conflicts in Syria and Iraq, from the effects of migration in Asia and the Americas, and from the continuing political and social upheavals across Africa, to cite just a few instances.

This is a global problem and it demands a global response.

Part of this global response was put in place on 15 December in the form of an international agreement signed in Brussels by the foreign ministers of the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Luxembourg and Sweden. The Agreement establishes the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) as a treaty-based international organization in its own right with its own structure of governance and international capacities.

ICMP is designated…