International Commission on Missing Persons

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International Commission on Missing Persons
ICMP logo.png
Formation 1996
Type IGO
Purpose Human Rights, Forensic Sciences, Government Relations, Relief Efforts
Headquarters Sarajevo
Chair Thomas Miller
Director-General Kathryne Bomberger
Staff 170 (January 2007)

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) is an intergovernmental organization that addresses the issue of persons missing as a result of armed conflicts, violations of human rights, and natural disasters. It is headquartered in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). It assists governments in the exhumation of mass graves and DNA identification of missing persons, provides support to family associations of missing persons, and assists in creating strategies and institutions to search for missing persons.


ICMP was established at the behest of United States President Bill Clinton in 1996 at the G7 summit in Lyon, France, to confront the issue of persons missing as a result of the different conflicts relevant to Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia, and the then Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1991 to 1995. ICMP was first chaired by former U.S. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, who was succeeded as Chairman by U.S. Senator Bob Dole. ICMP’s current Chairman is Thomas Miller. Although based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), ICMP is currently engaged in a wide-ranging area of operations that include the former conflict zones in the Western Balkans and the Middle East, as well as areas affected by natural disasters, such as tsunami affected regions of South Asia and the U.S. state of Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina. In 2001, at the request of New York City authorities, ICMP also sent two of its leading forensic scientists to the U.S. following the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center.

CMP's Podrinje Identification Project (PIP) was formed to deal with the identification primarily of victims of 1995 Srebrenica massacre. PIP includes a facility for storing, processing, and handling exhumed remains. Much of the remains are only fragments or commingled body fragments since they were recovered from secondary mass graves. The photo depicts one section of the refrigerated mortuary.

ICMP currently has three forensic facilities, two of which focus on human remains related to the fall of Srebrenica. These are the Podrinje Identification Project (PIP) and the Lukavac Reassociation Centre (LKRC). The Krajina Identification Project (KIP) is the primary facility for remains related to the area of Sanski Most and Prijedor. ICMP has offices in Sarajevo (BiH), Tuzla (BiH), Banja Luka (BiH), Baghdad and Arbil (Iraq), and Pristina (Kosovo).

By the end of August 2011, ICMP’s efforts had resulted in DNA-assisted identifications of 16,289 individuals from the former Yugoslavia.

In June 2008, the Philippines was struck by Typhoon Frank which caused over 1,000 deaths. In an effort to assist the Philippines in identifying persons who perished as a consequence of this tragedy, Interpol invited ICMP to work together with them to provide assistance, thus invoking for the first time an agreement[1] signed between ICMP and Interpol in November 2007 to respond jointly to disaster situations.


ICMP works to secure the co-operation of governments and other authorities in locating and identifying persons missing as a result of armed conflicts, other hostilities or violations of human rights, and natural disasters. ICMP also supports the work of other organizations in their efforts, encourages public involvement in its activities, and contributes to the development of appropriate expressions of commemoration and tribute to the missing. In addition, ICMP assists governments in meeting their human rights obligations toward victims and their surviving family members, as well as building institutional capacity that promotes long-term public confidence.


ICMP is governed by the ICMP Board of Commissioners, which includes the current chairman Thomas Miller (since May 2011),[2] Jim Kimsey (Chair 2001-2011 and current Chairman Emeritus), Wim Kok, Queen Noor of Jordan, Knut Vollebaek, Rolf Ekéus, and Carolina Barco.[3] Previous chairs include Bob Dole (Chairperson 1997–2001) and Cyrus Vance († Chairperson 1996–1997).

The Director-General, Kathryne Bomberger, was appointed by ICMP's Commissioners in April 2004 as the organization's chief executive officer and is responsible for the direction and oversight of all activities and programs in all areas of operation. On June 14, 2007, Bomberger was made Chevalier of the Legion d'Honneur by the President of France as “the proof of attention and recognition of the French Government for the work of Kathryne Bomberger in her mission and exceptional achievements of ICMP".[4]

Following ICMP's and Interpol's joint efforts on Typhoon Frank victim identification, on February 5, 2009, a Presidential citation[5] from Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the President of the Republic of the Philippines, was given to Kathryne Bomberger, ICMP Director General, for "her exceptional commitment to and outstanding achievements in locating and identifying persons missing as a result of natural or human-induced disasters".[6][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ICMP and INTERPOL sign Cooperation Agreement. "". Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  2. ^ "ICMP press release on Miller's appointment as ICMP chairman". Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  3. ^ Ambassador Carolina Barco becomes new ICMP Commissioner. "ICMP press release on Barco's appointment as ICMP commissioner". Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Presidential Citation to Kathryne Bomberger, ICMP Director-General, from Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the President of the Republic of the Philippines" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  6. ^ "". Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  7. ^[dead link]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°52′00″N 18°24′33″E / 43.86654°N 18.40928°E / 43.86654; 18.40928