Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute




Missing and Disappeared Persons: Why Has This Serious Human Rights Issue Been Sidelined?

This event was held virtually as a Zoom webinar and streamed via YouTube Live.

Please join us for a discussion with Kathryne Bomberger, Director-General of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), moderated by Tanya Domi (SIPA/Harriman Institute).

The International Commission on Missing Persons endeavors to secure the cooperation of governments and other authorities in locating persons missing as a result of conflicts, human rights abuses, disasters, organized violence and other causes and to assist them in doing so. 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.

Kathryne Bomberger has worked in the field of international relations, human rights, politics and conflict prevention for the last twenty years. Since 1998, she has led the development of ICMP, which is today the world’s leading human rights and rule of law organization dedicated exclusively to helping governments address missing persons issues arising from war, human rights violations, migration, organized crime, natural disasters and other causes. She was appointed ICMP Director-General in 2004. Since its creation in 1996, ICMP has been transformed from an ad hoc mechanism tasked with assisting countries emerging from the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia to a treaty-based international organization with global reach. Bomberger has consistently sought to ensure that the global challenge of missing persons is addressed by governments as an urgent priority, in a manner that is modern, effective and based on the rule of law.

Bomberger has worked in conflict and post-conflict areas as well as in areas affected by disasters and by organized crime (including the Western Balkans, Cyprus, Armenia, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Ukraine, Mexico, Colombia, Haiti, and the Philippines), helping governments, courts, prosecutors, NGOs, scientists, academics and others to build capacity to address the cross-cutting issue of missing persons, including through the development of effective institutions and legislation. She has spoken on the issue of missing persons at countless public forums, including the United Nations and the US Congress, and she has been interviewed by the BBC, the Guardian, the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Economist and many other media outlets, as well as participating in TV and film documentaries. Her numerous awards include recognition by the President of France as a Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur.

See below for downloadable files, including:

Kathryne Bomberger’s presentation slides (PDF)

Info packet from ICMP:

Event Video