By Kathryne Bomberger
All over the world today, families of the missing will speak out about the agony of not knowing the fate of a loved one. The idea for the International Day of the Disappeared originated in Latin America nearly four decades ago among families of victims of enforced disappearance. The annual commemoration has shone a light on a phenomenon that is often misunderstood – and whose impact is equally often underestimated.
Sarajevo, 29 June 2017: The International Commission on Missing Persons has launched a new on-line application called the “Site Locator” to assist in locating sites, such as mass or clandestine graves, where the mortal remains of missing persons could be hidden. The Site Locator is intended for global use, but is initially being launched in the Western Balkans to assist in locating the remaining 12,000 persons missing from the conflicts of the 1990s.
Stockholm, 1 June 2017: Concrete and effective scientific, legal, political and social strategies can help governments and stakeholders to account for the hundreds of thousands of people who go missing as a result of conflict, disasters and other causes, Her Majesty Queen Noor said in Stockholm on Wednesday. Queen Noor was speaking at the opening of a “Profiles of the Missing” conference organized by the International Commission on Missing Persons and hosted by the Swedish Institute of International Affairs.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has released preliminary figures for all migrant or refugee deaths worldwide in 2016 – reporting that 7,495 men, women and children died or went missing across five continents. This compares to 5,267 in 2014 and 5,740 last year, and brings the total for three years to 18,501. Migrant routes were more deadly in 2016, particularly the Central Mediterranean route between North Africa and Europe, where nearly 4,600 migrants perished.
On 30 August ICMP announced the launch of its restructured Online Inquiry Center (OIC). The OIC can be accessed by families of the missing and others to provide or obtain information about a missing person. It is part of an advanced software solution used to manage large-scale missing persons programs throughout the world.
By Her Majesty Queen Noor
Across the world from central America to southeast Asia people are on the move, desperately seeking to escape violence and poverty, while in large parts of the Middle East and Central Africa full-scale conflict is causing untold misery to millions.
Lejla Hodzic examines the December 2015 events in Zaria, Nigeria, and considers their implications for the issue of missing persons in Nigeria and beyond
Trefor Williams, the Head of ICMP’s Iraq Program, describes the steps that have been taken to coordinate administrative and technical resources in Northern Iraq and engage families of the missing, as efforts get underway to identify thousands of victims in the Sinjar area, recaptured from Islamic State at the end of 2015.
Bojana Djokanovic examines new and hopeful prospects for accounting for tens of thousands of missing and disappeared persons in Colombia