Practice Relating to Rule 117. Accounting for Missing Persons

Joint Declaration on Soviet-Japanese Relations
Paragraph 5 of the 1956 Joint Declaration on Soviet-Japanese Relations states: “With regard to those Japanese whose fate is unknown, the USSR, at the request of Japan, will continue its effort to discover what has happened to them.” 
Joint Declaration by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and Japan concerning the restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries, Moscow, 19 October 1956, § 5.
Additional Protocol I
Article 33 (1) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I provides: “As soon as circumstances permit, and at the latest from the end of active hostilities, each Party to the conflict shall search for the persons who have been reported missing by the adverse Party.” 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 33 (1). Article 33 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.37, 24 May 1977, p. 71.
Convention on Enforced Disappearance
The 2006 Convention on Enforced Disappearance provides:
Recalling … relevant international instruments in the fields of human rights, humanitarian law and international criminal law,
Article 7
1. Each State Party shall make the offence of enforced disappearance punishable by appropriate penalties which take into account its extreme seriousness.
2. Each State Party may establish:
(a) Mitigating circumstances, in particular for persons who, having been implicated in the commission of an enforced disappearance, effectively contribute to bringing the disappeared persons forward alive or make it possible to clarify cases of enforced disappearance …
Article 24:
3. Each State Party shall take all appropriate measures to search for, locate and release disappeared persons and, in the event of death, to locate, respect and return their remains.
Article 30
1. A request that a disappeared person should be sought and found may be submitted to the Committee, as a matter of urgency, by relatives of the disappeared person or their legal representatives, their counsel or any person authorized by them, as well as by any other person having a legitimate interest.
2. If the Committee considers that a request for urgent action submitted in pursuance of paragraph 1 of this article:
(a) Is not manifestly unfounded;
(b) Does not constitute an abuse of the right of submission of such requests;
(c) Has already been duly presented to the competent bodies of the State Party concerned, such as those authorized to undertake investigations, where such a possibility exists;
(d) Is not incompatible with the provisions of this Convention; and
(e) The same matter is not being examined under another procedure of international investigation or settlement of the same nature;
it shall request the State Party concerned to provide it with information on the situation of the persons sought, within a time limit set by the Committee.
3. In the light of the information provided by the State Party concerned in accordance with paragraph 2 of this article, the Committee may transmit recommendations to the State Party, including a request that the State Party should take all the necessary measures, including interim measures, to locate and protect the person concerned in accordance with this Convention and to inform the Committee, within a specified period of time, of measures taken, taking into account the urgency of the situation. The Committee shall inform the person submitting the urgent action request of its recommendations and of the information provided to it by the State as it becomes available.
4. The Committee shall continue its efforts to work with the State Party concerned for as long as the fate of the person sought remains unresolved. The person presenting the request shall be kept informed. 
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, adopted by the UN General Assembly, Res. 61/177, 20 December 2006, Annex, Preamble and Articles 7, 24 and 30.
UN Declaration on Enforced Disappearance
Article 13(6) of the 1992 UN Declaration on Enforced Disappearance, which spells out States’ obligations in terms of investigating cases of enforced disappearance, provides that such investigations “should be able to be conducted for as long as the fate of the victim of enforced disappearance remains unclarified”. 
Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, adopted by the UN General Assembly, Res. 47/133, 18 December 1992, Article 13(6).
Plan of Operation for the 1991 Joint Commission to Trace Missing Persons and Mortal Remains
Paragraph 2.1.1 of the Plan of Operation for the 1991 Joint Commission to Trace Missing Persons and Mortal Remains set up in the context of the former Yugoslavia states: “Each party is responsible for compiling a list of its reported missing, as well as a file on each missing [person].” Paragraph 2.2.2 adds: “The adverse party/parties shall take all possible measures (administrative steps and public appeals) to obtain information on the person reported missing.” 
Joint Commission to Trace Missing Persons and Mortal Remains: Rules of Procedure and Plan of Operation, established on the Basis of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Republic of Croatia, Republic of Serbia, Yugoslav People’s Army and International Committee of the Red Cross, Pècs, 16 December 1991, § 2.1.1 and 2.2.2.
Israel-PLO Agreement on the Gaza Strip
In Article XIX of the 1994 Israel-PLO Agreement on the Gaza Strip, the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed that:
The Palestinian Authority shall cooperate with Israel by providing all necessary assistance in the conduct of searches by Israel within the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area for missing Israelis … Israel shall cooperate with the Palestinian Authority in searching for … missing Palestinians. 
Agreement between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area, Cairo, 4 May 1994, Article XIX.
Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and IHL in the Philippines
Article 4(9) of Part IV of the 1998 Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and IHL in the Philippines provides: “Every possible measure shall be taken, without delay, to search for … missing persons”. 
Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, The Hague, 16 March 1998, Part IV, Article 4(9).
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1989) provides: “At all times, particularly after an engagement, the parties to the conflict shall, without delay, take all possible measures to search for … missing persons.” 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, PC-08-01, Público, Edición 1989, Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, aprobado por Resolución No. 489/89 del Ministerio de Defensa, 23 April 1990, § 2.05; see also § 6.01.
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) provides: “As soon as possible each party to an armed conflict must search for those reported missing by the enemy.” It adds: “In order to facilitate the search for missing combatants … each protagonist shall record … information for each person detained, imprisoned or otherwise held in captivity for a period of two weeks, or who has died.” 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, §§ 994, 996 and 997.
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
9.99 As soon as possible each party to an armed conflict must search for those reported missing by the enemy.
9.101 The search. As soon as circumstances permit, but at the latest once active hostilities have ceased, all protagonists to the conflict shall commence to search to the fullest extent possible for persons reported missing by one of the belligerents …
9.102 Particulars of missing persons. In order to facilitate the search for missing combatants … each of the protagonists shall … record … information for each person detained, imprisoned or otherwise held in captivity for a period of two weeks, or who has died. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, §§ 9.99 and 9.101–9.102.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) provides: “As soon as possible, and certainly immediately upon the end of hostilities, each party to the conflict must search for those reported missing by the adverse party.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 9-5, § 52.
The manual further states: “To facilitate the finding of missing personnel, parties to the conflict shall endeavour to reach agreements to allow teams to search for … the dead from the battlefield areas.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 9-5, § 53.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter on the treatment of the wounded, sick and shipwrecked:
1. The Geneva Conventions impose certain obligations on Detaining Powers with regard to the burial and reporting of dead personnel belonging to the adverse party. [The 1977 Additional Protocol I] also imposes obligations to search for the missing and to report upon the disposal of the remains of the dead.
2. As soon as possible, and certainly immediately upon the end of hostilities, each party to the conflict must search for those reported missing by the adverse party. The requests and all information, which may assist in tracing or identifying such person shall be transmitted through the Protecting Power or the Central Tracing Agency of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) or the national Red Cross Societies.
3. To facilitate the finding of missing personnel, parties to the conflict shall endeavour to reach agreements to allow teams to search for, identify and recover the dead from battlefield areas. They may also attach to such teams representatives of the adverse party when the search is taking place in areas controlled by the adverse party. While carrying out these duties, members of the teams shall be respected and protected. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 924.
Chad
Chad’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states: “Searches must be carried out to trace missing persons.” 
Chad, Droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces armées et de sécurité, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 94.
Croatia
Croatia’s LOAC Compendium (1991) instructs local commanders to offer their assistance to the civil authorities in the search for missing persons. 
Croatia, Compendium “Law of Armed Conflicts”, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1991, p. 50; see also p. 21.
Hungary
Hungary’s Military Manual (1992) provides that one of the requirements after a conflict is to “search for missing persons”. 
Hungary, A Hadijog, Jegyzet a Katonai, Föiskolák Hallgatói Részére, Magyar Honvédség Szolnoki Repülötiszti Föiskola, 1992, p. 38.
Indonesia
Indonesia’s Military Manual (1982) provides: “The parties to the conflict should search for missing persons, who are reported by the adverse party, soon after the hostilities cease.” 
Indonesia, The Basics of International Humanitarian Law, Legal Division of the Indonesian Armed Forces, 1982, § 98.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Laws of War (1998) provides that according to the 1977 Additional Protocols, “each party must … search for missing persons of the enemy and try to reach arrangements for the dispatch of search teams”. 
Israel, Laws of War in the Battlefield, Manual, Military Advocate General Headquarters, Military School, 1998, p. 61.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states that according to the 1977 Additional Protocols “each side is required to search for the enemy’s missing in action and allow access to search parties”. 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 39.
The Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) is a second edition of the Manual on the Laws of War (1998).
Kenya
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997) provides: “As soon as circumstances permit or, at least, at the end of active hostilities, each Party to the conflict must search for persons who have been reported missing by the adverse Party.” 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 2, p. 14; see also Précis No. 3, p. 13.
Madagascar
Madagascar’s Military Manual (1994) states that missing persons must be searched for. 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. 8-SO, § C; see also Fiche No. 1-T, § 22(3).
Mexico
Mexico’s Army and Air Force Manual (2009) states: “[A]s soon as circumstances permit and, at the latest, when hostilities have ended, the parties to the conflict should search for persons reported missing by an adverse party”. 
Mexico, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para el Ejército y la Fuerza Área Mexicanos, Ministry of National Defence, June 2009, § 204.
The manual also states that a “series of rules [included in the 1977 Additional Protocol I] concerns the duty to search for the missing”. 
Mexico, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para el Ejército y la Fuerza Área Mexicanos, Ministry of National Defence, June 2009, § 274.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands provides: “As soon as circumstances permit, and at the latest from the end of active hostilities, each Party to the conflict shall search for the persons who have been reported missing by an adverse Party.” 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. VI-3.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
Missing persons
As soon as circumstances permit, but in any case immediately after the cessation of hostilities, each party to a conflict must seek the persons listed by the other party as missing. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0611.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) provides: “As soon as possible, and certainly immediately upon the end of hostilities, each party to the conflict must search for those reported missing by the adverse Party.” 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 1011(2).
Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) states: “Each party to the conflict must endeavour to trace persons reported missing by an adverse party, which must provide all the relevant information on the missing persons in order to facilitate the search.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 68.a.
The manual further states:
As soon as the tactical situation permits, local area commanders should cooperate with the civilian authorities, with a view to restoring normal conditions for the population. This involves carrying out the following activities.
a. Emergency cooperation
The purpose of emergency cooperation is to save lives by:
(1) searching for victims and missing persons;
Cooperation can be spontaneous and organized locally at the lowest command levels, with the assistance, both at sea and on land, of civilians and civilian organizations, such as the components of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 69.a.(1).
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states: “Each party to the conflict must endeavour to trace persons reported missing by an adverse party, which must provide all the relevant information on the missing persons in order to facilitate the search.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 69(a), p. 269.
The manual also states:
As soon as the tactical situation permits, local area commanders should cooperate with the civilian authorities, with a view to restoring normal conditions for the population. This involves carrying out the following activities.
a. Emergency cooperation
The purpose of emergency cooperation is to save lives by:
(1) searching for victims and missing persons;
Cooperation can be spontaneous and organized locally at the lowest command levels, with the assistance, both at sea and on land, of civilians and civilian organizations, such as the components of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 70(a), p. 269.
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Regulations on the Application of IHL (2001) states: “After the termination of combat operations the division commander in addition to routine measures shall take steps to search for the … missing, regardless of what forces they belong to.” 
Russian Federation, Regulations on the Application of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 8 August 2001, § 72.
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone’s Instructor Manual (2007) states:
When tactically possible, searches must be carried out to look for “missing” (who may be wounded) to try to confirm their status and ultimately to keep their family informed. The same practice should be done to look for enemy listed as missing and also civilians reported as missing. 
Sierra Leone, The Law of Armed Conflict. Instructor Manual for the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Armed Forces Education Centre, September 2007, p. 40.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) states that the relevant provisions relating to the dead apply also to the missing. It also states: “The belligerents shall search for the persons whose disappearance has been notified by the adverse party, who shall communicate all the relevant information concerning them.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 5.d.2.(6).
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states: “Provisions concerning the dead also apply, where appropriate, to missing persons. … Each party to the conflict must endeavour to trace persons reported missing by an adverse party.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 5.2.d.(6).
Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states:
“Missing persons” mean persons who are missing during hostilities and whose whereabouts are unknown.
Regarding such persons … as soon as circumstances permit (at the latest from the end of active hostilities) each Party to the conflict shall search for the persons who have been reported missing by an adverse Party. 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, § 1.2.29.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states: “Each party must search for persons reported missing by an adverse party and also facilitate such searches by the provision of relevant information.” 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 7.38.
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan’s Law concerning the Protection of Civilian Persons and the Rights of Prisoners of War (1995) provides:
Art. 28. The appropriate authorities and governmental bodies of the Azerbaijan Republic shall begin the tracing of the persons considered to be missing by the adverse party to the conflict at the first opportunity and at the latest as soon as active military operations are over …
Art. 29. The appropriate authorities and governmental bodies of the Azerbaijan Republic shall ensure that the necessary measures be taken that:
1) information is collected and registered concerning the missing person in all cases irrespective of whether they are detained, in prison or dead. 
Azerbaijan, Law concerning the Protection of Civilian Persons and the Rights of Prisoners of War, 1995, Articles 28 and 29(1).
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Law on Missing Persons (2004) states:
A missing person is a person whose family is without news of him/her and/or is reported as unaccounted for, on the basis of reliable information, due to armed conflict which occurred on the territory of the former SFRY [Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia]. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Law on Missing Persons, 2004, Article 2(1).
The Law also states:
Missing person’s status ceases on the day of identification and the procedure of tracing the missing person is terminated.
In case a missing person is declared to be dead without human remains being found, the tracing process shall not be stopped. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Law on Missing Persons, 2004, Article 9.
Chad
Chad’s Decree on the Establishment of a Commission of Inquiry (2008) states:
Article 1: A Commission of inquiry has been established for the events that occurred in the Republic of Chad from 28 January to 08 February 2008 and their consequences.
Article 2: The mission of the commission of inquiry is to find and provide information about people reported missing … As such, it is responsible for the following tasks:
- receive, hear or interview anyone complaining of a case of disappearance of relatives, friends or allies;
- conduct any research that could shed light on the exact circumstances of the disappearance of a person;
- conduct investigations abroad and/or in Chad, particularly in areas that suffered badly from the consequences of the events, in particular Oum Hadjer, Ati, N'Djamena, Massaguet, Bitkine, Mongo, Aboudeïa and Am-Timan;
- produce an inquiry report addressed to the President of the Republic. 
Chad, Decree on the Establishment of a Commission of Inquiry, 2008, Articles 1–2.
Denmark
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (1973), as amended in 1978, provides:
Any person who uses war instruments or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or the general rules of international law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. a fine, lenient imprisonment or up to 12 years’ imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 1973, as amended in 1978, § 25(1).
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (2005) provides:
Any person who deliberately uses war means [“krigsmiddel”] or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or international customary law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. imprisonment up to life imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 2005, § 36(2).
El Salvador
El Salvador’s Decree Creating the Commission for Tracing Missing Children (2004) establishes
… the Inter-institutional Commission for Tracing Children who Disappeared as a Result of the Armed Conflict in El Salvador … which has the objective to collaborate with the public institutions involved with or in charge of the protection of children in the search for the children who have become involuntarily separated from their families, and to further the reunification with their close relatives based on the best interests of the child. 
El Salvador, Decree Creating the Commission for Tracing Missing Children, 2004, Article 1.
El Salvador
El Salvador’s Decree Creating the National Commission for Tracing Missing Children (2010) states:
Art. 1.- The National Commission for Tracing Girls and Boys Missing during the Internal Armed Conflict, which will be referred to as “Commission” or “Tracing Commission” hereinafter.
Art. 2.- The Commission shall have as its main objective to investigate and determine the whereabouts and condition of girls and boys that went missing during the internal armed conflict in El Salvador … .
Art. 3.- The Commission shall have the mandate to:
a) Investigate of its own accord or upon request by any person and to receive information on the disappearances of girls and boys during the internal armed conflict;
f) Promote coordination with public institutions and the participation of private, national … organizations, to implement actions that will contribute to determining the whereabouts of the missing girls and boys. 
El Salvador, Decree Creating the National Commission for Tracing Missing Children, 2010, Articles 1–3(a) and (f).
The Decree also states: “The Tracing Commission will carry out its activities in the whole national territory”. 
El Salvador, Decree Creating the National Commission for Tracing Missing Children, 2010, Article 6.
The Decree further states: “The Commission will function for a duration of two years from the entry into force of this Decree [26 April 2010].” 
El Salvador, Decree Creating the National Commission for Tracing Missing Children, 2010, Article 10.
Georgia
Georgia’s Law on Displaced Persons (1996), as amended to 2010, states:
The Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from Occupied Territories of Georgia [shall] support IDPs in the enjoyment of their rights at temporary dwelling spaces, together with the executive authorities and local self-government bodies, who:
j) Take part in the activities related to finding the … disappeared as a result of gross human rights violations. 
Georgia, Law on Displaced Persons, 1996, as amended to 2010, Article 5(2)(j).
The Law defines an internally displaced person as:
a citizen of Georgia or a stateless person permanently residing in Georgia, who was forced to leave his place of permanent residency and seek asylum within the territory of Georgia due to a threat to his or his relatives’ life, health and freedom, as a result of an aggression by a foreign state, an internal conflict or massive violations of human rights. 
Georgia, Law on Displaced Persons, 1996, as amended to 2010, Article 1.
Georgia
Georgia’s Law on Displaced Persons (1996), as amended in 2011, states:
The Ministry supports the IDPs [internally displaced persons] in [the] enjoyment of their rights in … temporary dwelling spaces[,] together with the executive authorities and local self-government bodies, who:
f) Take part in the activities related to finding the dead and their graves and disappeared as a result of … gross human rights violations. 
Georgia, Law on Displaced Persons, 1996, as amended in 2011, Article 5.4.
The Law, as amended in 2011, defines an internally displaced person from the occupied territory as follows:
Internally displaced person from the occupied territory – IDP is a citizen of Georgia or stateless person permanently residing in Georgia, who was forced to leave his place of permanent residency and seek asylum within the territory of Georgia due to the threat to his life, health and freedom or life, health and freedom of his family members, as a result of aggression of a foreign state, internal conflict o[r] mass violation of human rights or [a]s a result of events determined by … paragraph 11 of article 2 of this Law. 
Georgia, Law on Displaced Persons, 1996, as amended in 2011, Article 1(1).
Georgia
Georgia’s Law on Internally Displaced Persons (2014) states:
The Ministry [of Internally Displaced Persons from Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia], within its mandate, together with other state bodies[,] shall support an IDP [internally displaced person] to exercise his/her rights. In particular, they shall
f) be involved in the process of finding graves of the missing people as well as those who disappeared as a result of massive human rights violations. 
Georgia, Law on Internally Displaced Persons, 2014, Article 16(1)(f).
The Law defines an internally displaced person as follows:
A citizen of Georgia or a stateless person with a status residing in Georgia shall be considered as an IDP, if he/she was forced to leave his/her permanent place of residence because of threat to his/her or his/her family members[’] life, health or freedom caused by the occupation of the territory by a foreign state, aggression, armed conflict, mass violence and/or massive human rights violations and/or he/she cannot return to his/her permanent place of residence due to the above mentioned reasons. 
Georgia, Law on Internally Displaced Persons, 2014, Article 6(1).
Guatemala
Guatemala’s Executive Order No. 264-2006 (2006) states:
The Executive Commission for the tracing of Persons who Disappeared during the Internal Armed Conflict is herewith established as a temporary institution and as a consultative and accessory organ … [This Commission] has the objective to coordinate the efforts of its members and of the other State organs and institutions as well as of entities of civil society, in order to establish mechanisms to be used in the process of tracing, investigating and clarifying the whereabouts of the persons who disappeared involuntarily … during the internal armed conflict which ended with the adoption of the Peace Agreements. 
Guatemala, Executive Order No. 264-2006, 2006, Article 1.
Ireland
Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, provides that any “minor breach” of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, including violations of Article 33, are punishable offences. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 4(4).
Norway
Norway’s Military Penal Code (1902), as amended in 1981, provides:
Anyone who contravenes or is accessory to the contravention of provisions relating to the protection of persons or property laid down in … the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 … [and in] the two additional protocols to these Conventions … is liable to imprisonment. 
Norway, Military Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 1981, § 108.
Peru
Peru’s Directive on Investigations of Sites where Human Remains Were Discovered (2009) states:
II. Objective
Updating the norms and guidelines which regulate the investigation process of the Office of the Public Prosecutor as regards sites where human remains have been discovered and the search for persons who disappeared in Peru. 
Peru, Directive on Investigations of Sites where Human Remains Were Discovered, 2009, Article II.
The directive also states:
After the existence of a site where human remains are presumed has been brought to the attention of the prosecutor responsible for the area where the burial site is located, the prosecutor shall immediately initiate the investigation of the case, taking the present directive as guidance. 
Peru, Directive on Investigations of Sites where Human Remains Were Discovered, 2009, Article 1.
The directive further states:
The forensic investigation comprises the following stages:
1. Preliminary Forensic Investigation which includes the analysis of the files and the formulation of a working hypothesis that is briefly coordinated with the prosecutor in charge.
2. Location, evaluation and registration of the presumed site where human remains and associated elements have been located.
3. Recovery of the human remains and associated elements.
4. … [T]he safety of the recovered evidence (safekeeping).
5. Forensic analysis of the human remains and associated evidence in a laboratory.
6. Analysis of the ante-mortem and post-mortem information with a view to identifying the body or bodies.
7. Genetic analysis of the human remains to identify family members.
8. Drafting of the final forensic report which must be comprehensive. 
Peru, Directive on Investigations of Sites where Human Remains Were Discovered, 2009, Article 8.
Spain
Spain’s Law on the Victims of the Civil War and the Dictatorship (2007) states:
The public administrations, within their competence, shall facilitate the search for, localization and identification of persons who disappeared during the Civil War or during the subsequent political repression and whose whereabouts are unknown, if direct descendants of victims make such a request. 
Spain, Law on the Victims of the Civil War and the Dictatorship, 2007, Article 11(1).
United States of America
The US National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (2009) provides for the following authorization:
Sec. 541. Additional Requirements for Accounting for Members of the Armed Forces and Department of Defense Civilian Employees Listed as Missing in Conflicts Occurring Before Enactment of New System for Accounting for Missing Persons
(a) IMPOSITION OF ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS.—Section 1509 of title 10, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:
Ҥ 1509. Program to resolve pre-enactment missing person cases
“(a) PROGRAM REQUIRED; COVERED CONFLICTS.—The Secretary of Defense shall implement a comprehensive, coordinated, integrated, and fully resourced program to account for persons described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of section 1513(1) of this title who are unaccounted for from the following conflicts:
“(1) World War II during the period beginning on December 7, 1941, and ending on December 31, 1946, including members of the armed forces who were lost during flight operations in the Pacific theater of operations covered by section 576 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000 (Public Law 106–65; 10 U.S.C. 1501 note).
“(2) The Cold War during the period beginning on September 2, 1945, and ending on August 21, 1991.
“(3) The Korean War during the period beginning on June 27, 1950, and ending on January 31, 1955.
“(4) The Indochina War era during the period beginning on July 8, 1959, and ending on May 15, 1975.
“(5) The Persian Gulf War during the period beginning on August 2, 1990, and ending on February 28, 1991.
“(6) Such other conflicts in which members of the armed forces served as the Secretary of Defense may designate.
‘‘(c) TREATMENT AS MISSING PERSONS.—Each unaccounted for person covered by subsection (a) shall be considered to be a missing person for purposes of the applicability of other provisions of this chapter to the person. 
United States, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, 2009, Sec. 541, pp. 107–108.
Zimbabwe
In Zimbabwe, domestic legislation on missing persons outside armed conflict empowers judicial officers to compel police officers to search for a missing person. The Report on the Practice of Zimbabwe states that this demonstrates that the authorities in Zimbabwe believe that missing persons, even in armed conflict, should be searched for. 
Report on the Practice of Zimbabwe, 1998, Chapter 5.2, referring to Missing Persons Act as amended, 1978, Section 4.
No data.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
In 2005, in its initial report to the Human Rights Committee, Bosnia and Herzegovina stated that its Law on Missing Persons (2004) includes provisions on the “process of search for missing persons”. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Initial report to the Human Rights Committee, 24 November 2005, UN Doc. CCPR/C/BIH/1, § 46.
Botswana
The Report on the Practice of Botswana states that there is a duty on all parties to armed conflicts to search for persons reported missing. 
Report on the Practice of Botswana, 1998, Chapter 5.2.
Croatia
The main task of the Commission for Tracing Persons Missing in War Activities in the Republic of Croatia, established by the Croatian Government in 1991, was to collect and process the information about civil and other persons missing from the territory of Croatia during the war. In 1993, a new Commission, the Commission for Detained and Missing Persons, replaced the one established in 1991, yet with the same task. 
Croatia, Directive on the Establishment and Functioning of the Commission for Tracing Persons Missing in War Activities in the Republic of Croatia, 1991; Regulations establishing the Commission for Detained and Missing Persons in Croatia, Official Gazette, No. 46, 17 May 1993.
Djibouti
In 2011, in the History and Geography Textbook for 9th Grade, Djibouti’s Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training, under the heading “Terminology”, defined a “missing person” as a
[p]erson whose relatives have lost any trace of him/her and/or who has, on the basis of the available information, been reported missing in the context of an armed conflict, in other situations of violence or in other situations requiring the intervention of a neutral and independent intermediary. 
Djibouti, Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training, History and Geography Textbook for 9th Grade, 2011, p. 227.
The ministry also states: “Parties to the conflict shall search for persons reported missing by the adverse Party.” 
Djibouti, Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training, History and Geography Textbook for 9th Grade, 2011, p. 226.
El Salvador
In 2002, in its second periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, El Salvador stated: “By 1996 a total of 323 children had been recorded as having disappeared as a result of the armed conflict.” 
El Salvador, Second periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, 22 October 2003, UN Doc. CRC/65/Add.25, submitted 10 July 2002, § 506.
El Salvador
In 2006, in its written replies to the issues raised by the Committee on the Rights of the Child with regard to El Salvador’s initial report under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, El Salvador stated:
Information on measures taken to implement the 2005 decision of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the case of the Serrano Cruz sisters vs. El Salvador, including but not limited to the establishment of a Commission to determine the whereabouts of children who disappeared during the armed conflict.
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled that the State could comply with the corrective measure it ordered through the Inter-institutional Commission to Search for Children who Disappeared owing to Armed Conflict in El Salvador, provided that that body met the criteria established, or could establish a new commission that met those conditions. Realizing that the President’s brainchild met the requirements, the State decided to pursue the first option.
It therefore began taking administrative steps with the appropriate bodies to provide the Commission with space to work in and funding that had not been included in the State budget so that it could carry out its assigned tasks. 
El Salvador, Written replies by the Government of El Salvador to the Committee on the Rights of the Child concerning the list of issues formulated by the Committee on the Rights of the Child in connection with its consideration of the initial report of El Salvador under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, 12 May 2006, UN Doc. CRC/C/OPAC/SLV/Q/1/Add.1, p. 7.
El Salvador
In 2007, in its second periodic report to the Committee against Torture, El Salvador stated:
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs established a Human Rights Department within the Directorate-General of Legal Affairs, and set up the Inter-Agency Commission on the search for children who disappeared during the armed conflict in El Salvador. 
El Salvador, Second periodic report to the Committee against Torture, 12 December 2007, UN Doc. CAT/C/SLV/2, submitted 23 July 2007, § 29.
[footnote in original omitted]
El Salvador
In 2008, in its third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, El Salvador stated:
With regards to missing children, the State set up an Inter-Institutional Commission to search for children who disappeared owing to armed conflict in El Salvador, through Executive Order No 45 of 5 October 2004. This [Commission] began work on 13 June 2005, with the aim of cooperating with public institutions with involvement in or responsibility for child protection in the quest for children who were involuntarily separated from their families during that period in El Salvador. … In accordance with Article 4 of the Executive Order mentioned above, the Inter-Institutional Search Commission can also call on the cooperation and backup of other public institutions to help achieve its goal, … and also private institutions set up to achieve the aims of this Commission. 
El Salvador, Third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, 23 July 2009, UN Doc. CRC/C/SLV/3-4, submitted 21 February 2008, § 381.
The report also states:
383. As far as field activities are concerned … [a] logistical plan has been developed for collecting data, including the processing of special files for obtaining specific data, the planning of field trips and meetings when experiences gained as a result of the various forms of fieldwork are compared to establish progress in cases. … The fieldwork includes interviews with the civilian population and also with serving and retired military personnel, with state officials, with officials of national … institutions, such as the Salvadoran Red Cross … , from which valuable and important information has been obtained.
384. The National Civil Registry (RNPN) offers significant help in resolving cases assigned to it because it provides data on people related to case investigations, which makes it easier to locate them so that the relevant interviews can be carried out. As far as documentary investigations are concerned, visits have been carried out, obtaining access to the archives of various state institutions and mass media, where valuable information has been found and even photographs in some cases. Special emphasis must be placed on the conscientious and effective work being carried out by the Inter-Institutional Commission to search for children who disappeared owing to armed conflict. …
385. … Various search requests have been received for cases relating to the armed conflict …
386. The achievements of the Inter-Institutional Commission to search for children who disappeared owing to armed conflict since it first started work may be measured by its initial result of 46 cases resolved, which have led to 22 reunions taking place. 
El Salvador, Third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, 23 July 2009, UN Doc. CRC/C/SLV/3-4, submitted 21 February 2008, §§ 383–386.
[footnote in original omitted]
El Salvador
In 2009, in its written replies to the Committee against Torture concerning its second periodic report, El Salvador stated:
4. Indicate:
a) what have been the measures adopted by the State to find persons disappeared, including children, during the armed conflict of 1980 to 1992;
b) If a national commission, with sufficient resources and functions, has been instituted;
7. With regard to subparagraphs a) and b), concerning girls and boys disappeared during the internal armed conflict, the Salvadoran State created through Executive Decree No. 45 of 5 October 2004, published in Official Journal No. 45, Volume No. 365 of 6 October 2004, the Inter-institutional Commission for the Tracing of Boys and Girls Missing as a Result of the Armed Conflict in El Salvador, which initiated its work in September 2005 … .
8. The period of validity of this Decree and of the extension of the [Commission’s] mandate terminated on 31 May 2009, having resolved to the date 70 cases out of 212 total search requests, 51 of which were directly related to the armed conflict … ; having achieved, in addition, 29 family reunions despite not having the necessary financial resources to carry out the work for which it was created and thus not accomplishing all that was required by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the Case of the Serrano Cruz Sisters versus El Salvador.
9. Starting on 1 June 2009, El Salvador initiated a new phase in its history … ; and it is in this context that the Commission finds itself in a process of restructuring and redefinition that have led to a temporary suspension of the tasks entrusted to it, which will be taken up once again under the new vision of the Salvadoran State. 
El Salvador, Written replies by the Government of El Salvador to the list of issues formulated by the Committee against Torture in connection with its consideration of the second periodic report of El Salvador, 12 October 2009, UN Doc. CAT/C/SLV/Q/2/Add.1, submitted 1 October 2009, Question 4(a–b), §§ 7–9.
El Salvador
In 2009, in its written replies to the Committee on the Rights of the Child concerning its third and fourth periodic reports, El Salvador stated in regard to the progress made and the current situation of the search for children who disappeared during the internal armed conflict:
58. The so-called “Inter-institutional Commission to search for children who disappeared during the Salvadoran armed conflict” operated for four years until ceasing to exist on 31 May 2009.
59. Although the Inter-institutional Commission recorded some achievements, El Salvador recognizes that the Commission did not meet the standards required by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in its judgement in the case of the sisters Ernestina and Erlinda Serrano Cruz, particularly with respect to the need for greater investigative resources in the search for children, guarantees of the independence of the Commission’s members, and representation of the victims in the Commission.
60. The Association for the Search for Disappeared Children … petitioned the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador on a number of occasions for the enactment of a legislative decree establishing a national search commission. However, these petitions were not approved during the Assembly’s various proceedings.
61. Accordingly, El Salvador, through its new Executive, will promote the establishment by executive decree of a national search commission, respecting the standards for such a commission required by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. The Minister for Foreign Affairs has informed the Association for the Search for Disappeared Children and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of this decision – the latter, at a hearing on five cases of disappeared children held in Washington, D.C. on 6 November 2009. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has formulated a draft executive decree for the establishment of a national search commission, which is currently in the review phase and can be expected to be adopted in the reasonably near future.
62. In addition to the above decision, El Salvador, through its Minister for Foreign Affairs, has established an official dialogue with the Association for the Search for Disappeared Children, in furtherance of its obligations to comply with the judgement in the case of the Serrano Cruz sisters and with the Court’s demands in other cases of disappeared children. …
63. At the previously mentioned hearing of 6 November 2009 before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, El Salvador radically altered its former positions regarding the problem of children who disappeared during the armed conflict. It recognized the existence of a pattern of child disappearances during that period, … and promised to endeavour to discharge in good faith its international human rights obligations in this matter.
65. These changes hold out the prospect of a historic breakthrough in the search for disappeared children. 
El Salvador, Written replies by the Government of El Salvador to the list of issues prepared by the Committee on the Rights of the Child in connection with the consideration of the third and fourth periodic reports of El Salvador, UN Doc. CRC/C/SLV/Q/3–4/Add.1, submitted 10 December 2009, Question 13, §§ 58–63, and 65.
El Salvador
In 2010, in its written replies to the Human Rights Committee concerning its sixth periodic report, El Salvador stated:
60. During the period under examination, the State has not launched a comprehensive plan for the search of persons disappeared in the context of the internal armed conflict.
61. Despite the above, in the context of the current Government of El Salvador (which assumed its functions on 1 June 2009), the State has recognized that practices such as the enforced disappearance of persons took place in the context of the internal armed conflict, causing profound suffering to the affected families. …
62. … [I]n a public act of reparation … , the President of El Salvador signed an Executive Decree for the creation of the “National Commission for Tracing Boys and Girls Missing during the internal armed conflict” in accordance with the standards required by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights … .
63. Furthermore, there has recently been important case law of the Constitutional Division of the Supreme Court of Justice, which in Habeas Corpus proceedings have extended the right to judicial protection of victims of enforced disappearance and transferred different cases to the Office of the Public Prosecutor for the investigation of these. In this respect, the Constitutional Division has held that a judgment against the defendant … [in habeas corpus proceedings] cannot have an immediate restorative effect. … [T]hus, the duty to investigate and establish the material situation of disappeared persons would fall to the Office of the Public Prosecutor, without the need for the act to have been previously classified as an offence. 
El Salvador, Written replies by the Government of El Salvador to the list of issues formulated by the Human Rights Committee in connection with its consideration of the sixth periodic report of El Salvador, UN Doc. CCPR/C/SLV/Q/6/Add.1, 21 September 2010, §§ 60–63.
[footnote in original omitted]
In its written replies, El Salvador further stated:
66. The Inter-institutional Commission for the Tracing of Boys and Girls Missing as a Result of the Armed Conflict in El Salvador resolved 70 cases out of the 212 registered by it while it was in force (from October 2004 to 31 May 2009). Among the resolved cases, 51 were directly related to the armed conflict, … which took place between … [1980] and 1992. Nevertheless, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, in the resolutions on supervision of the implementation of the judgement in the case of the Ernestina and Erlinda Serrano Cruz sisters, kept open the follow-up item, which ordered the creation and functioning of the above-mentioned Commission, as it considered that it did not meet the standards of independence, resources and legal capacity necessary to establish the whereabouts of victims of disappearances.
67. As a result, on 18 January 2010 Executive Decree No. 5, which gave legal life to the current “National Commission for Tracing Boys and Girls Missing during the internal armed conflict”, was published in the Official Journal. The mandate of this Commission is to establish the whereabouts of boys and girls victims of disappearance during the internal armed conflict, previously taking into account the standards mentioned by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights for its functioning. This Commission, … which will be instituted in July 2010, will have within its functions the investigation of the disappearance of boys and girls during the internal armed conflict, … and giving momentum to processes for the search of disappeared boys and girls. 
El Salvador, Written replies by the Government of El Salvador to the list of issues formulated by the Human Rights Committee in connection with its consideration of the sixth periodic report of El Salvador, UN Doc. CCPR/C/SLV/Q/6/Add.1, 21 September 2010, §§ 66–67.
Germany, Federal Republic of
At the CDDH, the Federal Republic of Germany stated that the draft rule that each party to the conflict should try to obtain information on missing persons would meet a “fundamental humanitarian need, which was not yet fully and explicitly covered by existing treaty obligations”. 
Germany, Federal Republic of, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XI, CDDH/II/SR.19, 13 February 1975, p. 186, §§ 79–80.
Germany
In 1995, during a debate in the UN Security Council concerning Bosnia and Herzegovina, the German representative noted that his delegation had taken the initiative in the Security Council to push for measures to be taken to establish the whereabouts of missing Bosnian men. 
Germany, Statement before the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/PV.3591, 9 November 1995, pp. 2–3.
Guatemala
In 2003, in its fourth periodic report to the Committee against Torture, Guatemala stated:
As recommended by the Historical Clarification Commission which arose out of the peace agreements, a National Commission to Search for Missing Children has been set up. It is supported by the Office of the … [Ombudsman] for Human Rights and is made up of a number of bodies that work in coordination, including: the Human Rights Office of the Archdiocese of Guatemala, the Office of the Children’s Ombudsman, the Asociación Casa Alianza Guatemalateca, the Liga Guatemalteca de Higiene Menta (Guatemalan mental health league), the Grupo Monseñor Romero, the Legal Action Centre for Human Rights, the Widows’ National Coordinating Committee, the Mutual Support Group, the Rigoberta Menchú Foundation, the Asociación Dónde están los Niños y las Niñas (Where are the children association) and the Centro de Investigación Internacional de Derechos Humanos (International human rights research centre). The commission’s mission is to support, promote and reinforce efforts to document cases, track down children and reunite families; it will also give impetus to efforts to obtain justice, assistance and reparation, and to legal actions to help along the searches for missing children. 
Guatemala, Fourth periodic report to the Committee against Torture, 27 May 2005, UN Doc. CAT/C/74/Add.1, submitted 8 December 2003, § 48.
Iraq
In 2011, Iraq’s Ministry of Human Rights issued a press release entitled “T[h]e Minister of Human [R]ights meets the head of the ICRC and discusses … the file of missing Kuwaitis”, which stated:
[T]he [M]inister [of Human Rights] expressed [the] gratitude of the [R]epublic of Iraq to the ICRC for its efforts in Iraq and his wishes for the continuation of such cooperation …
The [M]inister also expressed his hope to obtain support in the file of missing Kuwaitis that Iraq looks forward to finaliz[ing, it] being a humanitarian commitment before being a legal one, as the new Iraq is working hard with all possible means to apply humanitarian standards in all its activities. … The [M]inister said that he expressed to the [G]overnment of Kuwait his keenness to finalize this file once and for all. 
Iraq, Ministry of Human Rights, “T[h]e Minister of Human [R]ights meets the head of the ICRC and discusses … the file of missing Kuwaitis”, Press Release, 3 March 2011.
Iraq
In 2011, Iraq’s Ministry of Human Rights issued a press release entitled “The [M]inistry of Human [R]ights signs an MOU with the ICRC”, which stated:
[T]he [M]inister of [H]uman [R]ights said that the aim of [the] signing of this MOU is to strengthen the capacity of t[h]e Zubair [C]enter in Basrah to enhance the process of dealing with the remains of martyrs and to develop technologies required to preserve such remains.
He added that the history of cooperation between Iraq and the ICRC [goes] back to 1980[,] stating that it is imperative that Iraq is working to continue with such cooperation through provision of technologies and equipment and preparations of t[he M]inistry to deal with missing Iraqis[’] and Iranian[s’] files.
He indicated that such preparations require the readiness of [the] Zubair [C]enter in the fi[el]d of identifying the remains through DNA testing and preparing the center to receive such remains, expressing his hope that the ICRC would consider Iraq’s positive response regarding the Kuwaiti and Iranian files and the future efforts in this course. He expressed the [M]inistry[’s] readiness to deal with any piece of information from the American or Kuwaiti sides regarding this issue in addition to [the M]inistry’s own efforts. 
Iraq, Ministry of Human Rights, “The [M]inistry of Human [R]ights signs an MOU with the ICRC”, Press Release, 13 March 2011, p. 1.
Iraq
In 2011, Iraq’s Ministry of Human Rights issued a press release entitled “The Minister of Human Rights discusses with the ICRC a proposal related to detention institutions”, which stated:
[T]he Minister of Human Rights had discussed with … the head of [the] ICRC delegation to Iraq the excavations taking place in Fao city and the search for the remains of Iranians [gone] missing during the first [G]ulf war and the possibility of involving the Iranian side which offered its cooperation in this field. 
Iraq, Ministry of Human Rights, “The Minister of Human Rights discusses with the ICRC a proposal related to detention institutions”, Press Release, 19 December 2011.
Iraq
In 2012, Iraq’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a press release concerning the file on the missing, which stated:
The technical committee [created] to discu[ss] [the issue of] missing Iraqis and Kuwaitis had held its 76th meeting in Kuwait [on] 16–19 of September 2012 [in] the presence of all committee members (Iraq, Kuwait, the US, the UK, and France) under the supervision of the ICRC, which chaired the meeting. The activities of the [Iraqi] Human Rights [M]inistry were discussed, mainly th[o]se related to excavation and exploration in proposed burial locations of Kuwaiti missing citizens, and preparations for excavating in new burial locations in [the] Al-Khamisiyah area in Dhi Qar province. The meeting also discussed the necessity of contacting Iraqi witnesses in[side] and out[side] of Iraq who have information of missing Kuwaitis, and [of] making use of updated technologies like aerial photography and GPR devices in [the] exploration of burial sites, demanding member countries (US, UK, and France) to provide expertise and training in the field. During the meeting, [it was] stress[ed] that [the] ICRC shall provide [the] most updated information adopted in forensic medicine and analysis of information, and [the] Kuwaiti side [was asked] to explore new areas where potential Iraqi missing persons might be buried. 
Iraq, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “The File on the Missing”, Press Release, 1 October 2012.
Ireland
In 2009, Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, in a written response to a question on the situation in Sri Lanka, stated:
As I have stated on many occasions in this House, I am deeply concerned about the situation in Sri Lanka. The immediate priority is still the welfare of the 280,000 or so Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) currently being held in IDP camps in the north of the country. There is urgent need … for missing IDPs to be accounted for and reunited with their families. 
Ireland, Dáil Eireann (House of Deputies), Minister for Foreign Affairs, Written Answers – Foreign Conflicts (3), Dáil Eireann debate Vol. 690 No. 1, 23 September 2009.
Israel
According to the Report on the Practice of Israel, it is the policy of the Israeli authorities to conduct ongoing searches for members of the Israel Defense Forces who are missing in action. 
Report on the Practice of Israel, 1997, Chapter 5.2.
Jordan
The Report on the Practice of Jordan states that Jordan recognizes that it has a special duty to search for persons reported missing. 
Report on the Practice of Jordan, 1997, Chapter 5.2.
Kuwait
According to the Report on the Practice of Kuwait, it is the opinio juris of Kuwait that missing persons must be searched for in order to establish their fate and enable their return. 
Report on the Practice of Kuwait, 1997, Chapter 5.2.
Malaysia
According to the Report on the Practice of Malaysia, search operations for missing persons are initiated upon receipt of information on the missing person and continue for seven years. 
Report on the Practice of Malaysia, 1997, Chapter 5.2.
Nepal
In 2004, in a declaration of commitment on the implementation of human rights and international humanitarian law, the Prime Minister of Nepal stated: “HMG [His Majesty’s Government] assures full cooperation to establish the fate and whereabouts of reported missing persons.” 
Nepal, Declaration of commitment on the implementation of human rights and international humanitarian law, 26 March 2004, § 22.
Netherlands
In 1988, in a report on Measures of Implementation of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the 1977 Additional Protocols, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands stated that “the National Information Bureau has a plan for the organization of searches” with regard to missing persons. 
Netherlands, Measures of Implementation of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the 1977 Additional Protocols, annexed to Letter dated 20 December 1988 from the Minister of Foreign Affairs to the Permanent Mission of the Netherlands in Geneva for submission to the ICRC, Comments on Article 33 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I.
Peru
According to the Report on the Practice of Peru, during the international armed conflict between Peru and Ecuador in 1995, Peru carried out search and rescue operations to recover missing Peruvian aircraft crews. 
Report on the Practice of Peru, 1999, Chapter 5.2.
Poland
In 2005, in a cooperation agreement concluded between the Polish Minister of National Defence and the Polish Red Cross, the Government of Poland stated:
1. Organizational units of the Ministry of National Defence and the organizational units subordinated to the Minister of National Defence or supervised by him, hereinafter referred to as the national defence agency, and the Polish Red Cross, hereinafter referred to as the PRC shall cooperate to:
4) search for persons missing as a result of armed conflicts. 
Poland, Cooperation Agreement Between the Minister of National Defence and the Polish Red Cross, Warsaw, 8 February 2005, published in MON Official Journal of 2005, No. 3, item 18, § 1(4).
Russian Federation
According to the Report on the Practice of the Russian Federation, a great effort has been made to determine the fate of Japanese persons who were reported missing in the USSR, but only during the period of perestroika. The Joint Soviet-Japanese Commission and the Japanese Union of ex-Prisoners have made some progress in this field. 
Report on the Practice of the Russian Federation, 1997, General Notes.
According to the report, there are no specific rules in the Russian Federation or in other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States to regulate the search for missing persons. In practice, private organizations have assumed State functions. Representatives of the Soldiers’ Mothers Committee, for example, have gone to Chechnya with the mothers of missing soldiers to find out what happened to their sons. 
Report on the Practice of the Russian Federation, 1997, Chapter 5.2.
146. Following the war and the 1994 Genocide of Tutsis, there are children who have been separated from their families. The efforts made by Rwanda to reunify these children with their families have been mentioned in the initial report. The process of reuniting children with their families continues in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). In this connection, announcements related to children in search of their families are regularly broadcast on national radio station. In these announcements, anyone who recognizes a child among those whose names are mentioned on radio is requested to notify ICRC that takes steps to reunite the child with his family.
147. ICRC works also with Rwanda Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission in tracing the families of Rwandan children involved in armed conflicts in DRC returning to their country.
Serbia and Montenegro
In 2003, in its initial report to the Human Rights Committee, Serbia and Montenegro stated:
Serbia and Montenegro is particularly interested in solving the question of missing and abducted persons from Kosovo and Metohija in view of the responsibility of the United Nations, i.e. UNMIK under UNSC resolution 1244. Clarifying the fate of all missing persons from Kosovo and Metohija is an important step towards establishment of lasting peace and reconciliation. 
Serbia and Montenegro, Initial report to the Human Rights Committee, 24 July 2003, UN Doc. CCPR/C/SEMO/2003/1, submitted 9 July 2005, § 205.
Switzerland
In 2009, in its Report on Foreign Policy, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated:
Programmes on the civilian promotion of peace will in the future also seek to focus on topics necessary for ensuring the sustainability of peace processes and considered a priority for Switzerland, such as … dealing with the past.
In the context of processes for dealing with the past, Switzerland, for example, supports countries concerned in the realization of their obligations concerning … the search for missing persons … In 2008, it notably engaged in the protection of archives in Guatemala and in the treatment of the issue of missing persons in the Balkans. 
Switzerland, Federal Council, Report on Foreign Policy 2009, 2 September 2009, Section 3.3.6.2, p. 5801.
Switzerland
In 2011, Switzerland’s Federal Council issued a Communiqué on the continuation of measures promoting peace and human security 2012–2016, which stated: “Switzerland will also concretely accompany the efforts of governments and civil society actors, in a sexospecific manner, to find missing persons (exhumations)[.]” 
Switzerland, Federal Council, Communiqué on the continuation of measures promoting peace and human security 2012–2016, 29 June 2011, p. 5909.
The Communiqué also stated:
Humanitarian dialogue in the North Caucasus
… The Centre for Civil Assistance to Search for Missing People, created in 2006, collects data about missing persons. A list of about 7000 names have been made public on internet. … Financed and assisted by the Confederation, the implementation of the project is guaranteed by two Russian non-governmental organizations and by the foundation Swisspeace. 
Switzerland, Federal Council, Communiqué on the continuation of measures promoting peace and human security 2012–2016, 29 June 2011, p. 5921.
Switzerland
In 2012, in its Report on Foreign Policy 2011, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated: “Switzerland has also continued its efforts – with the support of the authorities and civil society – to improve the human security of the civilian populations in the North Caucasus, in particular through the search for persons who went missing during the armed conflicts in the 1990s.” 
Switzerland, Federal Council, Report on Foreign Policy 2011, 18 January 2012, p. 2761.
Uganda
In the Annexure to the Agreement on Accountability and Reconciliation signed between the Government of the Republic of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army/Movement in 2007, the contracting Parties,
[h]aving signed the Principal Agreement by which the parties committed themselves to implementing accountability and reconciliation with respect to the conflict;
[decided that t]he Government shall by law establish a body to be conferred with all the necessary powers and immunities [to inquire into the past and related matters], whose functions shall include:
(i) to gather and analyse information on those who have disappeared during the conflict. 
Annexure to the Agreement on Accountability and Reconciliation signed between the Government of the Republic of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army/Movement (LRA/M) on 29 June 2007, Juba, 19 February 2008, Preamble, Article 4(i).
United States of America
In 1987, the Deputy Legal Adviser of the US Department of State affirmed: “We support the principle that … each party to a conflict should search areas under its control for persons reported missing, when circumstances permit, and at the latest from the end of active hostilities.” 
United States, Remarks of Michael J. Matheson, Deputy Legal Adviser, US Department of State, The Sixth Annual American Red Cross-Washington College of Law Conference on International Humanitarian Law: A Workshop on Customary International Law and the 1977 Protocols Additional to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, American University Journal of International Law and Policy, Vol. 2, 1987, p. 424.
United States of America
In 1995, during a debate in the UN Security Council concerning Bosnia and Herzegovina, the United States stated, with respect to the civilians missing and unaccounted for: “We have a responsibility to investigate, to find out what we can.” 
United States, Statement before the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/PV.3564, 10 August 1995, p. 6.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on the situation in Iraq, the UN Security Council:
Noting the letter of 8 May 2003 from the Permanent Representatives of the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the President of the Security Council (S/2003/538) and recognizing the specific authorities, responsibilities, and obligations under applicable international law of these states as occupying powers under unified command (the “Authority”),
6. Calls upon the Authority and relevant organizations and individuals to continue efforts to locate, identify, and repatriate all Kuwaiti and Third-State Nationals or the remains of those present in Iraq on or after 2 August 1990, as well as the Kuwaiti archives, that the previous Iraqi regime failed to undertake, and, in this regard, directs the High-Level Coordinator, in consultation with the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Tripartite Commission and with the appropriate support of the people of Iraq and in coordination with the Authority, to take steps to fulfil his mandate with respect to the fate of Kuwaiti and Third-State National missing persons and property. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1483, 22 May 2003, preamble and § 6, voting record: 14-0-0-1.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on the situation in Cyprus, the UN Security Council welcomed “the report of the Secretary-General of 26 May 2004 (S/2004/427) on the United Nations operation in Cyprus, and in particular the call to the parties to assess and address the humanitarian issue of missing persons with due urgency and seriousness”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1548, 11 June 2004, preamble, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the situation in Cyprus, the UN Security Council:
Reiterating its call to the parties to assess and address the humanitarian issue of missing persons with due urgency and seriousness, and welcoming in this regard the resumption of the activities of the Committee on Missing Persons since August 2004. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1604, 17 June 2005, preamble, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2006 on the situation in Cyprus, the UN Security Council:
Reiterating its call to the parties to assess and address the humanitarian issue of missing persons with due urgency and seriousness, and welcoming in this regard the resumption of the activities of the Committee on Missing Persons since August 2004, as well as the appointment by the Secretary-General of a Third Member who will assume his duties in July 2006.  
UN Security Council, Res. 1687, 15 June 2006, preamble, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2006 on the situation in Cyprus, the UN Security Council reiterated “its call to the parties to assess and address the humanitarian issue of missing persons with due urgency and seriousness”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1728, 15 December 2006, preamble, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2007 on the situation in Cyprus, the UN Security Council:
Reiterating its call to the parties to assess and address the humanitarian issue of all missing persons with due urgency and seriousness, and welcoming in this regard the progress and continuation of the important activities of the Committee on Missing Persons; expressing the hope that this process will promote reconciliation between the communities. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1758, 15 June 2007, preamble, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In 1996, in a statement by its President on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the UN Security Council stated:
The Security Council is concerned that endeavours by the relevant international authorities to identify the fate of the missing by, inter alia, carrying out exhumations has met with limited success largely due to obstruction by Republika Srpska. It notes with concern that the fate of only a few hundred missing persons has so far been established. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/1996/41, 10 October 1996, p. 1.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on missing persons, the UN General Assembly:
2. Calls upon States that are parties to an armed conflict to … account for persons reported missing…
4. Also reaffirms that each party to an armed conflict, as soon as circumstances permit and, at the latest, from the end of active hostilities, shall search for the persons who have been reported missing by an adverse party;
6. Requests States to pay the utmost attention to cases of children reported missing in connection with armed conflicts and to take appropriate measures to search for and identify those children. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 59/189, 20 December 2004, §§ 2, 4 and 6, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2006 on missing persons, the UN General Assembly:
2. Calls upon States that are parties to an armed conflict to … account for persons reported missing…
4. Also reaffirms that each party to an armed conflict, as soon as circumstances permit and, at the latest, from the end of active hostilities, shall search for the persons who have been reported missing by an adverse party;
7. Requests States to pay the utmost attention to cases of children reported missing in connection with armed conflicts and to take appropriate measures to search for and identify those children. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 61/155, 19 December 2006, §§ 2, 4 and 7, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1987 on the question of human rights in Cyprus, the UN Commission on Human Rights called for the tracing of missing persons without further delay. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1987/50, 11 March 1987, p. 113, § 3, voting record: 23-3-15.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2002 on missing persons, the UN Commission on Human Rights:
3. Also reaffirms that each party to an armed conflict, as soon as circumstances permit and at the latest from the end of active hostilities, shall search for the persons who have been reported missing by an adverse party;
4. Calls upon States which are parties to an armed conflict to take immediate steps to determine the identity and fate of persons reported missing in connection with the armed conflict;
5. Requests States to pay the utmost attention to cases of children reported missing in connection with armed conflicts and to take appropriate measures to search for and identify those children. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2002/60, 25 April 2002, §§ 3–5, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on missing persons, the UN Commission on Human Rights:
1. Urges States strictly to observe and respect and ensure respect for the rules of international humanitarian law, as set out in the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and, for States parties, the Additional Protocols thereto of 1977;
2. Calls upon States that are parties to an armed conflict to take all appropriate measures to prevent persons from going missing in connection with armed conflict and to account for persons reported missing as a result of such a situation;
3. Reaffirms the right of families to know the fate of their relatives reported missing in connection with armed conflicts;
4. Also reaffirms that each party to an armed conflict, as soon as circumstances permit and at the latest from the end of active hostilities, shall search for the persons who have been reported missing by an adverse party;
5. Calls upon States that are parties to an armed conflict to take immediate steps to determine the identity and fate of persons reported missing in connection with the armed conflict;
6. Requests States to pay the utmost attention to cases of children reported missing in connection with armed conflicts and to take appropriate measures to search for and identify those children;
7. Invites States which are parties to an armed conflict to cooperate fully with the International Committee of the Red Cross in establishing the fate of missing persons and to adopt a comprehensive approach to this issue, including all practical and coordination mechanisms as may be necessary, based on humanitarian considerations only;
8. Urges States and encourages intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations to take all necessary measures at the national, regional and international levels to address the problem of persons reported missing in connection with armed conflicts and to provide appropriate assistance as requested by the concerned States. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2004/50, 20 April 2004, §§ 1–8, voting record: 52-0-1.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the right to the truth, the UN Commission on Human Rights recalled that “article 33 of Additional Protocol I provides that the parties to an armed conflict shall search for the persons who have been reported missing, as soon as circumstances permit”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2005/66, 20 April 2005, preamble, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on technical cooperation and advisory services in Nepal, the UN Commission on Human Rights urged the Government of Nepal:
To take all appropriate measures to clarify the fate of all cases of persons allegedly victims of enforced disappearance, including, where appropriate, taking into account the work of the national committee and international expert bodies in this field. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2005/78, 20 April 2005, § 8(b), adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In 1995, the chairman of the UN Commission on Human Rights called upon the Government of Indonesia to continue its investigation into those persons missing as a result of incidents in Dili. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Chairman’s statement on the situation of human rights in East Timor, UN Doc. E/CN.4/1995/SR.49, 1 March 1995, § 27(4).
UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights
In resolutions adopted in 1984 and 1985, the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights urged that the fate of disappeared persons in the context of the conflict in Guatemala be clarified. 
UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1984/23, 29 August 1984; Res. 1985/28, 30 August 1985, § 2.
UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1987, the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights expressed concern at the fate of the missing in Cyprus and urged the immediate tracing of these persons. 
UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1987/19, 2 September 1987, § 2.
UN Expert for the Special Process on Missing Persons in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia
In 1996, the Expert for the Special Process on Missing Persons in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia called upon the parties and the international community to intensify their efforts to clarify the fate of missing persons using every possible means, including exhumation of mortal remains where necessary. 
Expert for the Special Process on Missing Persons in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia, Statement during a briefing on progress reached in investigation of violations of international law in the areas of Srebrenica, Žepa, Banja Luka and Sanski Most pursuant to UN Security Council resolution 1034 (1995), Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, 22 August 1996, §§ 12–13.
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
In a recommendation adopted in 1983 on the situation in Cyprus, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly asked the Committee of Ministers to instruct the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe to undertake all necessary steps to gather information on the events in Cyprus and to investigate the cases of those persons who had disappeared following the invasion by armed forces in 1974.  
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Rec. 974, 5 November 1983, p. 81.
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
In a recommendation adopted in 1987 on national refugees and missing persons in Cyprus, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly urged the Committee of Ministers to support every effort made to investigate the fate of missing persons. 
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Rec. 1056, 5 May 1987, § 7.
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
In a recommendation adopted in 1998 on the humanitarian situation of the Kurdish refugees and displaced persons in south-eastern Turkey and northern Iraq, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly invited Turkey to bring to light the fate of missing persons. 
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Rec. 1377, 25 June 1998, § iv.
International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (1999)
The Plan of Action for the years 2000–2003 adopted in 1999 by the 27th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent proposed that all the parties to an armed conflict take effective measures to ensure that “every effort is made to clarify the fate of all persons unaccounted for”. 
27th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, Geneva, 31 October–6 November 1999, Res. I, Annex 2, Plan of Action for the years 2000–2003, Actions proposed for final goal 1.1, § 1(e).
Human Rights Committee
In its concluding observations on the consolidated third, fourth and fifth periodic reports of El Salvador in 2003, the Human Rights Committee stated:
The Committee is sorry that the delegation was unable to explain the Legislative Assembly’s reasons for not approving the establishment of a national commission of inquiry to track down children who disappeared in the conflict (arts. 6, 7 and 24 [of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights]).
The State Party is urged to submit detailed information on the numbers of children found alive and the numbers that died in the fighting. It is also invited to reconsider the establishment of a national commission on disappeared children and a compensation fund for young people who are found. 
Human Rights Committee, Concluding observations on the consolidated third, fourth and fifth periodic reports of El Salvador, UN Doc. CCPR/CO/78/SLV, 22 August 2003, § 19.
[emphasis in original]
Human Rights Committee
In its concluding observations on the initial report of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2006, the Human Rights Committee stated:
The Committee notes with concern that the fate and whereabouts of some 15,000 persons who went missing during the armed conflict (1992 to 1995) remain unresolved. It reminds the State party that the family members of missing persons have the right to be informed about the fate of their relatives, and that failure to investigate the cause and circumstances of death, as well as to provide information relating to the burial sites, of missing persons increases uncertainty and, therefore, suffering inflicted to family members and may amount to a violation of article 7 of the [1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights]. (arts. 2(3), 6 and 7)
The State party should take immediate and effective steps to investigate all unresolved cases of missing persons and ensure without delay that the Institute for Missing Persons becomes fully operational, in accordance with the Constitutional Court’s decision of 13 August 2005. It should ensure that the central database of missing persons is finalized and accurate, that the Fund for Support to Families of Missing Persons is secured and that payments to families commence as soon as possible. 
Human Rights Committee, Concluding observations on the initial report of Bosnia and Herzegovina, UN Doc. CCPR/C/BIH/CO/1, 22 November 2006, § 14.
[emphasis in original]
European Court of Human Rights
In the Cyprus case in 2001, the European Court of Human Rights found that, in relation to Greek-Cypriot missing persons and their relatives:
136. There has been a continuing violation of Article 2 [of the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights] on account of the failure of the authorities of the respondent State [Turkey] to conduct an effective investigation aimed at clarifying the whereabouts and fate of Greek-Cypriot missing persons who disappeared in life-threatening circumstances. …
150. There has been a continuing violation of Article 5 of the [1950 European Convention on Human Rights] by virtue of the failure of the authorities of the respondent State [Turkey] to conduct an effective investigation into the whereabouts and fate of the missing Greek-Cypriot persons in respect of whom there is an arguable claim that they were in custody at the time they disappeared. 
European Court of Human Rights, Cyprus case, Judgment, 10 May 2001, §§ 136 and 150.
Inter-American Court of Human Rights
In the Caballero Delgado and Santana case before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in 1995, the Government of Colombia submitted evidence that it had made several unsuccessful attempts to recover the remains of two missing persons. 
Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Caballero Delgado and Santana case, Judgment, 8 December 1995, § 51.
ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that:
Each belligerent shall search for the persons who have been reported missing by an enemy Party. Such enemy Party shall transmit all relevant information concerning these persons in order to facilitate the searches. 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, § 260.
Fédération Internationale des Droits de l’Homme (FIDH)
According to a 1984 report of the FIDH, the Government of Lebanon has established a commission on missing and kidnapped persons. 
FIDH, Liban: Le problème des disparus, La lettre de la F.I.D.H., No. 42, 27 January 1984.
Turku Declaration of Minimum Humanitarian Standards
The Turku Declaration of Minimum Humanitarian Standards, adopted by an expert meeting convened by the Institute for Human Rights of Åbo Akademi University in Turku/Åbo, Finland in 1990, states: “Every possible measure shall be taken, without delay, to search for … missing persons.” 
Turku Declaration of Minimum Humanitarian Standards, adopted by an expert meeting convened by the Institute for Human Rights, Åbo Akademi University, Turku/Åbo, 30 November–2 December 1990, Article 13, IRRC, No. 282, p. 335.
Hague Regulations (1899)
Article 14 of the 1899 Hague Regulations provides:
A bureau for information relative to prisoners of war is instituted, on the commencement of hostilities, in each of the belligerent States, and, when necessary, in the neutral countries on whose territory belligerents have been received. This bureau is intended to answer all inquiries about prisoners of war, and is furnished by the various services concerned with all the necessary information to enable it to keep an individual return for each prisoner of war. It is kept informed of internments and changes, as well as of admissions into hospital and deaths. 
Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land, annexed to Convention (II) with Respect to the Laws and Customs of War on Land, The Hague, 29 July 1899, Article 14.
Hague Regulations (1907)
Article 14 of the 1907 Hague Regulations provides:
An inquiry office for prisoners of war is instituted on the commencement of hostilities in each of the belligerent States, and, when necessary, in neutral countries which have received belligerents in their territory. It is the function of this office to reply to all inquiries about the prisoners. It receives from the various services concerned full information respecting internments and transfers, releases on parole, exchanges, escapes, admissions into hospital, deaths, as well as other information necessary to enable it to make out and keep up to date an individual return for each prisoner of war. The office must state in this return the regimental number, name and surname, age, place of origin, rank, unit, wounds, date and place of capture, internment, wounding, and death, as well as any observations of a special character. The individual return shall be sent to the Government of the other belligerent after the conclusion of peace.  
Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land, annexed to Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, The Hague, 18 October 1907, Article 14.
Geneva Convention III
Article 122, first paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention III provides: “Upon the outbreak of a conflict and in all cases of occupation, each of the Parties to the conflict shall institute an official Information Bureau for prisoners of war who are in its power.” 
Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 122, first para.
Article 122, third paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention III provides that each Information Bureau shall transmit specific information on prisoners of war to the Powers concerned, through the Protecting Powers and the Central Information Agency. 
Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 122, third para.
Geneva Convention IV
Article 136 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides:
Upon the outbreak of a conflict and in all cases of occupation, each of the Parties to the conflict shall establish an official Information Bureau responsible for receiving and transmitting information in respect of the protected persons who are in its power.
Each of the Parties to the conflict shall, within the shortest possible period, give its Bureau information of any measure taken by it concerning any protected persons who are kept in custody for more than two weeks, who are subjected to assigned residence or who are interned. 
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 136.
Article 137, first paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides that each Information Bureau shall transmit this information to the Powers of whom the persons are nationals, through the Protecting Powers and the Central Information Agency. 
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 137, first para.
Additional Protocol I
Article 33(1) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I provides that, in order to facilitate the search, each party shall transmit all relevant information concerning the persons it has reported missing. Article 33(3) provides:
Information concerning persons reported missing pursuant to paragraph 1 and requests for such information shall be transmitted either directly or through the Protecting Power or the Central Tracing Agency of the International Committee of the Red Cross or national Red Cross (Red Crescent, Red Lion and Sun) Societies. Where the information is not transmitted through the International Committee of the Red Cross and its Central Tracing Agency, each Party to the conflict shall ensure that such information is also supplied to the Central Tracing Agency. 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 33(1) and (3). Article 33 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.37, 24 May 1977, p. 71.
Agreement on Refugees and Displaced Persons annexed to the Dayton Accords
Article 5 of the 1995 Agreement on Refugees and Displaced Persons annexed to the Dayton Accords provides: “The Parties shall provide information through the tracing mechanisms of the ICRC on all persons unaccounted for.” 
General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Annex 7, Agreement on Refugees and Displaced Persons, signed by the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska, Dayton, 22 November 1995, Article 5.
Agreement on Normalization of Relations between Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Under Article 6 of the 1996 Agreement on Normalization of Relations between Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the parties undertook to speed up the process of solving the question of missing persons and agreed to immediately exchange all available information about these persons. 
Agreement on Normalization of Relations between the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Belgrade, 23 August 1996, Article 6.
Israel-PLO Agreement on the Gaza Strip
In Article XIX of the 1994 Israel-PLO Agreement on the Gaza Strip, the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed that:
The Palestinian Authority shall cooperate with Israel by providing … information about missing Israelis. Israel shall cooperate with the Palestinian Authority in … providing necessary information about missing Palestinians. 
Agreement between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area, Cairo, 4 May 1994, Article XIX.
Protocol to the Moscow Agreement on a Cease-fire in Chechnya to Locate Missing Persons and to Free Forcibly Detained Persons
In the 1996 Protocol to the Moscow Agreement on a Cease-fire in Chechnya to Locate Missing Persons and to Free Forcibly Detained Persons, the working groups decided:
5. The competence of the joint working group shall extend to the location of persons who have been missing since 11 December 1994 …
6. By 11 June 1996, the working groups shall exchange lists of forcibly detained persons. 
Protocol of the Meeting of the Working Groups, Formed under the Negotiations Commissions, to Locate Missing Persons and to Free Forcibly Detained Persons, Nazran, 10 June 1996.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1989) states:
Information recorded shall be communicated as soon as possible to the National Office provided for, so that it can be transmitted to the adverse party, in particular through the Central Tracing Agency of the International Committee of the Red Cross. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, PC-08-01, Público, Edición 1989, Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, aprobado por Resolución No. 489/89 del Ministerio de Defensa, 23 April 1990, § 6.02.
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) provides:
Any request and all information which may assist in tracing or identifying [missing] persons shall be transmitted through the Protecting Power or the Central Tracing Agency of the ICRC or the national Red Cross societies. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 994.
The manual further states: “The report of a missing person is to be notified by each belligerents’ National Bureau direct, or through a Protecting Power to the Central Agency of the ICRC.” 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 996.
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
9.99 … Any requests and all information which may assist in tracing or identifying such persons shall be transmitted through the Protecting Power or the Central Tracing Agency of the ICRC or the national Red Cross societies.
9.101 … The report of a missing person is to be notified by each belligerent’s national bureau direct, or through a protecting power to the Central Tracing Agency of the ICRC. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, §§ 9.99 and 9.101.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) states:
The requests and all information which may assist in tracing or identifying [missing] persons shall be transmitted through the Protecting Power or the Central Tracing Agency of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) or the national Red Cross societies. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 9-5, § 52.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter on the treatment of the wounded, sick and shipwrecked:
As soon as possible, and certainly immediately upon the end of hostilities, each party to the conflict must search for those reported missing by the adverse party. The requests and all information, which may assist in tracing or identifying such person shall be transmitted through the Protecting Power or the Central Tracing Agency of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) or the national Red Cross Societies. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 924.2.
In its chapter on the treatment of civilians in the hands of a party to the conflict or an occupying power, the manual states:
1132. Information bureau
1. [The 1949 Geneva Convention IV] requires that upon the outbreak of a conflict and in all cases of occupation each of the parties to the conflict must establish an official information bureau to receive and transmit information concerning the protected persons who are in its power. Each party is bound, as soon as possible, to give its bureau full particulars relating to the placing in custody for more than two weeks, the placing in assigned residence, or the internment, of any protected person. It is also the duty of each party to see that its various departments concerned with such matters give the bureau prompt information concerning the protected persons, for example, transfers, releases, repatriations, escape, admissions to hospital, births and deaths.
2. Each national bureau must forward without delay information concerning protected persons to the powers of which such persons are nationals or in whose territory they formerly resided. This is to be done through the Protecting Powers and through a central agency, which is to be set up in a neutral country. The national bureau must also reply to all enquiries concerning protected persons unless sending such information would be detrimental to the person concerned or to his or her relatives.
1133. Central agency
1. A central information agency for protected persons, particularly internees, must be set up in a neutral country. The ICRC may, if it thinks it necessary, propose to the powers concerned the organization of such an agency. The duty of the agency is to collect the information referred to in the preceding paragraphs and to send it to the countries of origin or residence of the persons concerned, unless this course might be harmful to the persons concerned or their relatives. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, §§ 1132.1–2 and 1133.
Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book I (Basic instruction):
Lesson 5. The International Committee of the Red Cross
The aim of this lesson is to familiarize the soldier with the activities of the International Committee of the Red Cross, generally and in particular in times of armed conflict.
… To protect and assist the victims of situations of armed conflict and disturbances, the ICRC undertakes several activities in their favour[:]
- it endeavours to restore and to maintain family links between separated family members; for more than a century, the ICRC’s Central Tracing Agency has dedicated itself to the following activities: searching for persons reported missing or of whom their families have lost sight; reuniting separated families; transmitting messages when normal communication systems are paralysed or destroyed by the war; … delivering death or capture certificates. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre I: Instruction de base, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 31 and 33–34; see also Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre II: Instruction du gradé et du cadre, Manuel de l’instructeur, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 32 and 34–35; Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 1: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 1ère année, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 55–56.
Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) provides: “Each of the Parties to the conflict is obliged to forward information regarding the fate of protected civilians … as well as of prisoners of war … wounded, sick, shipwrecked, and dead.” 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten KonfliktenHandbuch, August 1992, §§ 538 and 708.
Mexico
Mexico’s Army and Air Force Manual (2009) states: “[A]s soon as circumstances permit and, at the latest, when hostilities have ended, the parties to the conflict should search for persons reported missing by an adverse party and transmit all relevant information concerning such persons in order to facilitate the search.” 
Mexico, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para el Ejército y la Fuerza Área Mexicanos, Ministry of National Defence, June 2009, § 204.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands states:
An important task of the Netherlands Red Cross is the establishment of a National Information Bureau. The task of this bureau consists of the collection and transmission, in cooperation with the Central Tracing Agency of the ICRC, of information about prisoners of war and other protected persons. 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. II-10, § 9.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
In addition to possible action as a protecting power and to gathering information on prisoners of war, the ICRC fulfils the following tasks:
- tracing missing persons and forwarding messages to prisoners of war and civilian detainees. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0243.
The manual further states:
An important task of the Dutch Red Cross is to form the National Information Bureau, whose task is to cooperate with the Central Tracing Agency of the ICRC in collecting and forwarding information about prisoners of war and other protected persons. In many countries, this task is not carried out by the national Red Cross organization, but by the government. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0246.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) provides:
The requests and all information which may assist in tracing or identifying [missing] persons shall be transmitted through the Protecting Power or the Central Tracing Agency of the International Committee of the Red Cross or the national Red Cross societies. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 1011(2).
The manual further states:
Each national Bureau must forward without delay information concerning protected persons to the Power of which such persons are nationals or in whose territory they formerly resided … The national Bureau must also reply to all enquiries concerning protected persons unless sending such information would be detrimental to the person concerned or to his relatives. Even then the information must be given to the Central Agency. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 1134(2).
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Military Manual (1990) recalls the rules of IHL, “which set the obligation: a) in peacetime: … to provide for a set of measures relating to the organization of tracing, registration of and reporting of missing persons, and also of a service to implement these measures”. 
Russian Federation, Instructions on the Application of the Rules of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the USSR, Appendix to Order of the USSR Defence Minister No. 75, 1990, § 14.
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states: “Each party to the conflict must endeavour to trace persons reported missing by an adverse party, which must provide all the relevant information on the missing persons in order to facilitate the search.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 69(a), p. 269.
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone’s Instructor Manual (2007) states: “In order to ensure that everyone is accounted for, details – who, when, where, how etc, of those who are ‘missing’ are taken and passed back up the chain of command. This is an administrative obligation.” 
Sierra Leone, The Law of Armed Conflict. Instructor Manual for the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Armed Forces Education Centre, September 2007, p. 39.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states: “Each party to the conflict … must provide all the relevant information on the missing persons to the adverse party.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 5.2.d.(6).
Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states:
Requests for search from one Party to another in accordance with the provisions of part V of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War of 12 August 1949 and part III of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 shall be transmitted through the National Tracing Agencies and the Central Tracing Agency of the International Committee of the Red Cross. 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, § 1.2.29.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states: “Each party must search for persons reported missing by an adverse party and also facilitate such searches by the provision of relevant information.” 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 7.38.
United States of America
The US Field Manual (1956) reproduces Article 122 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III and Articles 136 and 137 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV. 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, §§ 203, 343 and 344.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (2007) states: “The [1949] Geneva Conventions recognize the special status of the ICRC and have assigned specific tasks for it to perform, including … searching for information concerning missing persons.” 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-12.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Homeland Security, US Coast Guard, July 2007, § 6.2.2.
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe’s Code of Conduct for Combatants (1993) states:
THE ICRC’S CENTRAL TRA[C]ING AGENCY
In international conflicts, civil war and situations of internal disturbances and tensions, its tasks are as follows:
1. To obtain, record, process and transmit all information required for the identification of persons being traced by the ICRC;
2. To forward correspondence between dispersed family members when normal means of communication are disrupted;
3. To seek persons reported missing or whose relatives are without news of them;
4. To reunite families and organize transfers and repatriations. 
Zimbabwe, Code of Conduct for Combatants, Joint publication of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and the International Committee of the Red Cross Regional Delegation in Harare, 1993, p. 20.
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan’s Law concerning the Protection of Civilian Persons and the Rights of Prisoners of War (1995) provides:
In order to further trace such persons [considered to be missing by the adverse party], information concerning them shall be given to the adverse party directly through the Protecting Power or their substitute – the ICRC …
The appropriate authorities and governmental bodies of the Azerbaijan Republic shall ensure that the necessary measures be taken that:
2) correct information concerning the missing and requests about them are given to the adverse party directly through the Protecting Power or their substitute – the International Committee of the Red Cross. 
Azerbaijan, Law concerning the Protection of Civilian Persons and the Rights of Prisoners of War, 1995, Articles 28 and 29(2).
Bangladesh
Bangladesh’s International Crimes (Tribunal) Act (1973) states that the “violation of any humanitarian rules applicable in armed conflicts laid down in the Geneva Conventions of 1949” is a crime. 
Bangladesh, International Crimes (Tribunal) Act, 1973, Section 3(2)(e).
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Red Cross Society Law (2004) states:
The Tracing Agency shall be formed within the [Red Cross] Society in order to provide information on war victims, as foreseen by the [1949] Geneva Conventions and the Tracing Agency Rule Book which regulate the collection of data on the victims of armed conflict, and in order to perform other tasks stipulated in the Geneva Conventions as well as to organize the Tracing Agency in the Society. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Red Cross Society Law, 2004, Article 12.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Law on Missing Persons (2004) states:
Article 4 (Obligation of Providing Information)
[R]elevant authorities and institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska, and Brčko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina in charge of defence, justice and the interior as well as other authorities in charge of tracing the missing persons, and other entity, cantonal and municipal authorities which, within their competence, solve cases related to persons unaccounted for in/from Bosnia and Herzegovina … are obliged to provide any available information to the families of the missing persons, relevant institutions for tracing the missing persons, as well as all the necessary support related to the process of improving the tracing and solving the cases of the missing persons from/in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Article 5 (The Way of Information Exchange)
Competent authorities at all levels … are obliged, within 30 days from this law entering into force, to designate competent bodies, i.e. officials, who shall be obliged to cooperate with the relevant institutions and bodies for tracing the missing persons, associations of families and members of the missing persons’ families and to assist in exercising the rights that the members of the missing persons’ families are entitled to on the basis of this and other relevant laws in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Competent authorities … are obliged on the basis of the previously and recently submitted requests for information to collect and check any available information and facts, specifying the sources checked in the process of establishing such information that is related to the disappearance of the missing person, to look into the official records and materials within their competent institution and to communicate the information in writing to the applicant and the relevant institutions for tracing the missing persons.
Article 6 (Obligation of Exchange and Cooperation)
Competent authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina shall have the obligation to exchange amongst themselves the information related to the process of tracing and establishing the fates and identities of the missing persons. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Law on Missing Persons, 2004, Articles 4–6.
The Law also states:
The Central Records of the Missing Persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina … shall include all records of the missing persons having been kept on local and entity levels, by associations of families of the missing persons, other associations of citizens, and by Tracing Agencies of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Red Cross, within their respective mandates.
The data about the missing persons, kept by the international organizations within their respective mandates, under the principle of confidentiality, are included in the Central Records on the basis of the agreement the Institute concludes with them. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Law on Missing Persons, 2004, Article 21.
Denmark
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (1973), as amended in 1978, provides:
Any person who uses war instruments or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or the general rules of international law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. a fine, lenient imprisonment or up to 12 years’ imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 1973, as amended in 1978, § 25(1).
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (2005) provides:
Any person who deliberately uses war means [“krigsmiddel”] or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or international customary law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. imprisonment up to life imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 2005, § 36(2).
Ireland
Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, provides that any “minor breach” of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, including violations of Article 122 of the Geneva Convention III and Articles 136 and 137 of the Geneva Convention IV, and of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, including violations of Article 33(1) and (3), are punishable offences. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 4(1) and (4).
Norway
Norway’s Military Penal Code (1902), as amended in 1981, provides:
Anyone who contravenes or is accessory to the contravention of provisions relating to the protection of persons or property laid down in … the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 … [and in] the two additional protocols to these Conventions … is liable to imprisonment. 
Norway, Military Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 1981, § 108.
Peru
Peru’s Directive on Investigations of Sites where Human Remains Were Discovered (2009) states:
Any preliminary forensic information, specific information obtained during the recovery of the bodies and their associated evidence, as well as information gathered during the laboratory analysis – which includes genetic information – shall be registered in an information management system, namely the Pre-Mortem/Post-Mortem Database of the International Committee of the Red Cross. 
Peru, Directive on Investigations of Sites where Human Remains Were Discovered, 2009, Article 32.
Spain
Spain’s Law on the Victims of the Civil War and the Dictatorship (2007) states under the heading “Measures to identify and locate victims”:
The public administrations shall draft and offer to all within their jurisdiction maps showing the places where human remains as defined in the previous article [i.e. human remains of persons who disappeared during the Civil War or during the subsequent political repression and whose whereabouts are unknown] are located, including every available piece of complementary information.
The Government shall … elaborate a map of the entire Spanish territory and make it accessible to every interested citizen. The map shall include the data provided by the different administrations. 
Spain, Law on the Victims of the Civil War and the Dictatorship, 2007, Article 12(2).
United States of America
The US National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (2009) provides for the following authorisation:
Sec. 541. Additional Requirements for Accounting for Members of the Armed Forces and Department of Defense Civilian Employees Listed as Missing in Conflicts Occurring Before Enactment of New System for Accounting for Missing Persons
(a) IMPOSITION OF ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS.—Section 1509 of title 10, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:
Ҥ 1509. Program to resolve pre-enactment missing person cases
“(a) PROGRAM REQUIRED; COVERED CONFLICTS.—The Secretary of Defense shall implement a comprehensive, coordinated, integrated, and fully resourced program to account for persons described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of section 1513(1) of this title who are unaccounted for from the following conflicts:
“(1) World War II during the period beginning on December 7, 1941, and ending on December 31, 1946, including members of the armed forces who were lost during flight operations in the Pacific theater of operations covered by section 576 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000 (Public Law 106–65; 10 U.S.C. 1501 note).
“(2) The Cold War during the period beginning on September 2, 1945, and ending on August 21, 1991.
“(3) The Korean War during the period beginning on June 27, 1950, and ending on January 31, 1955.
“(4) The Indochina War era during the period beginning on July 8, 1959, and ending on May 15, 1975.
“(5) The Persian Gulf War during the period beginning on August 2, 1990, and ending on February 28, 1991.
“(6) Such other conflicts in which members of the armed forces served as the Secretary of Defense may designate.
“(d) ESTABLISHMENT OF PERSONNEL FILES.—(1) The Secretary of Defense shall ensure that a personnel file is established and maintained for each person covered by subsection (a) if the Secretary—
“(A) possesses any information relevant to the status of the person; or
“(B) receives any new information regarding the missing person as provided in subsection (e).
“(2) The Secretary of Defense shall ensure that each file established under this subsection contains all relevant information pertaining to a person covered by subsection (a) and is readily accessible to all elements of the department, the combatant commands, and the armed forces involved in the effort to account for the person. 
United States, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, 2009, Sec. 541, pp. 107–108.
No data.
Algeria
According to the Report on the Practice of Algeria, in the late 1950s, during the Algerian war of independence, the Armée de Libération Nationale (ALN) denied all responsibility for missing persons on the basis that it had systematically released all prisoners. 
Report on the Practice of Algeria, 1997, Chapter 5.2, referring to Farouk Benatïa, Les actions humanitaires pendant la lutte de libération (1954–1962), Editions Dahlab, Algiers, 1997, pp. 119–126.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
In 2005, in its initial report to the Human Rights Committee, Bosnia and Herzegovina stated that its Law on Missing Persons (2004) includes provisions on the “establishment of a central database on missing persons from/within Bosnia and Herzegovina”. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Initial report to the Human Rights Committee, 24 November 2005, UN Doc. CCPR/C/BIH/1, § 46.
El Salvador
In 2008, in its third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, El Salvador stated:
The fieldwork [of the Inter-Institutional Commission to search for children who disappeared owing to armed conflict in El Salvador] includes interviews … with officials of … international institutions, such as … the International [Committee of the] Red Cross … , from which valuable and important information has been obtained. 
El Salvador, Third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, 23 July 2009, UN Doc. CRC/C/SLV/3-4, submitted 21 February 2008, § 383.
Netherlands
In 1988, in a report on the Measures of Implementation of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the 1977 Additional Protocols, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands stated that “the National Information Bureau has a plan for the … registration and communication of information” with regard to missing persons. 
Netherlands, Measures of Implementation of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the 1977 Additional Protocols, annexed to Letter dated 20 December 1988 from the Minister of Foreign Affairs to the Permanent Mission of the Netherlands in Geneva for submission to the ICRC, 20 December 1988, Comments on Article 33 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I.
Philippines
The Report on the Practice of the Philippines states that it is the practice of the Philippines during clashes between government troops and insurgent forces for the military to account for the number of dead insurgents and of those taken prisoner. The information collected is then passed on to the authorities with a view to transmitting the names of the missing to the rebel side. This notification is, however, frequently subject to delay. 
Report on the Practice of the Philippines, 1997, Chapter 5.2, referring to “Soldiers Detain and Torture 5 Civilians”, Human Rights Update, Vol. 10(8), November–December 1996.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2003, in reply to an oral question in the House of Lords asking whether “the Government [would] give some priority to Kuwaiti prisoners of war and those missing in action since the previous Gulf War”, the UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence stated:
My Lords, I am delighted that that question has been asked, because it is one matter about which the Iraqi regime has been asked ever since the first Gulf War ended. I believe that there are 600 Kuwaiti prisoners whose whereabouts are completely unknown. Perhaps not surprisingly, the Iraqi regime has done absolutely nothing to assist the Kuwaiti authorities on that matter. We shall certainly be looking into that as matters develop. 
United Kingdom, House of Lords, Statement by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, Hansard, 8 April 2003, Vol. 647, Debates, cols. 133–134.
United States of America
According to the Report on US Practice, it is the opinio juris of the United States that the parties to all armed conflicts should take such action as may be within their power to provide information about missing persons. 
Report on US Practice, 1997, Chapter 5.2.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1974, the UN General Assembly called upon parties to armed conflicts, “regardless of their character or location, during and after the end of hostilities, and in accordance with the Geneva Conventions of 1949, to take such action as may be within their power … to provide information about those who are missing in action”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 3220 (XXIX), 6 November 1974, § 2, voting record: 95-0-32-11.
UN General Assembly
In resolution adopted in 1999 on the situation of human rights in Kosovo, the UN General Assembly called upon the authorities of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) “to provide information on the fate and whereabouts of the high number of missing persons from Kosovo”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 54/183, 17 December 1999, § 18, voting record: 108-4-45-31.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2006 on missing persons, the UN General Assembly:
Recognizes, in this regard, the need for the collection, protection and management of data on missing persons according to international and national legal norms and standards, and urges States to cooperate with each other and with other concerned actors working in this area, inter alia, by providing all relevant and appropriate information related to missing persons.  
UN General Assembly, Res. 61/155, 19 December 2006, § 6, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2007 on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, the UN General Assembly called upon the Government of Myanmar:
To allow the International Committee of the Red Cross to carry out its humanitarian activities for people in need, in particular by granting immediate access to persons detained and by providing the necessary information on persons unaccounted for in connection with recent events. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 62/222, 22 December 2007, § 5(i), voting record: 83-22-47-40.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1994, the UN Commission on Human Rights urged all the parties in the former Yugoslavia to disclose relevant information and documentation concerning thousands of missing persons. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1994/72, 9 March 1994, § 23, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1995 on the special process dealing with the problem of missing persons in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, the UN Commission on Human Rights emphasized the obligation contained in the 1995 Dayton Accords to disclose all relevant information concerning missing persons. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1995/35, 3 March 1995, §§ 2–5, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1998 on the situation of human rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the UN Commission on Human Rights called upon Croatia to disclose all relevant material on missing persons. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1998/79, 22 April 1998, §§ 37 and 42, voting record: 41-0-12.
UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1992 on the situation in East Timor, the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights urged the Government of Indonesia to provide information on those persons who were reported missing following incidents in Dili. 
UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1992/20, 27 August 1992, § 6.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees
In 1996, in its report to the 50th Session of the UN General Assembly, the UNHCR Executive Committee expressed “its utmost concern for the fate of … missing persons within and from the territory of the former Yugoslavia” and reiterated “the urgent appeals by the international community … to provide full information on the fate of those unaccounted for”. 
UNHCR, Addendum to the Report to the UN General Assembly, UN Doc. A/50/12/Add.1, 1 January 1996, § 31(a) and (f).
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1995 on the situation in some parts of the former Yugoslavia, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly demanded information about the whereabouts of 5,000 Bosnian Muslims from Srebrenica. 
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Res. 1066, 27 September 1995, p. 2, § 6.
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
In a recommendation adopted in 1998, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly recommended that the Committee of Ministers urge the parties to the conflict in Kosovo to provide information about missing persons. 
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Rec. 1385, 24 September 1998, § 7(iii)(a).
European Parliament
In a resolution adopted in 1990, the European Parliament condemned the continuing lack of information on persons missing on both sides following the invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and calling for the immediate provision of information on the fate of these persons. 
European Parliament, Resolution on the violation of human rights in Cyprus, 12 July 1990, §§ D and 2.
International Conference of the Red Cross (1973)
The 22nd International Conference of the Red Cross in 1973 adopted a resolution on the missing and dead in armed conflicts in which it recognized that “one of the tragic consequences of armed conflicts is a lack of information on persons missing, killed or deceased in captivity” and called on “parties to armed conflicts, during hostilities and after cessation of hostilities … to provide information about those who are missing in action”. The Conference further called on parties to conflicts to:
co-operate with Protecting Powers, with the ICRC and its Central Tracing Agency, and with such other appropriate bodies as may be established for this purpose, and in particular National Red Cross Societies, to accomplish the humanitarian mission of accounting for the dead and missing, including those belonging to third countries not parties to the armed conflict. 
22nd International Conference of the Red Cross, Teheran, 8–15 November 1973, Res. V.
International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (1995)
The 26th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in 1995:
(c) emphasizes that family reunification must begin with the tracing of separated family members at the request of one of them and end with their coming together as a family;
(d) stresses the particular vulnerability of children separated from their families as a result of armed conflict, and invites the ICRC, the National Societies and the International Federation, within the scope of their respective mandates, to intensify their efforts to locate unaccompanied children, to identify them, to re-establish contact and reunite them with their families, and to give them the necessary assistance and support;
(e) notes that the form of a family may vary from one culture to the other, recognizes the aspiration of separated families to be reunited and appeals to States to apply criteria for family reunification in such a way that they take into account the situation of those family members who are most vulnerable;
(f) requests that the legal status of family members in a host country be determined swiftly and in a humanitarian spirit, with a view to ensuring the facilitation of family reunification;
(g) calls upon States to facilitate the tracing activities of their respective National Red Cross or Red Crescent Societies by granting them access to the relevant data;
(h) encourages National Societies to maximize their efficiency in carrying out tracing work and family reunifications by strengthening their tracing and social welfare activities and maintaining close cooperation with the ICRC, government authorities and other competent organizations, such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) involved in such work;
(i) calls upon States to support National Societies in carrying out such tracing work and family reunifications;
(j) commends the role of the ICRC’s Central Tracing Agency (CTA) in tracing and reuniting family members, and encourages the CTA to continue to coordinate, whenever necessary, National Society activities in tracing and reuniting families and to train National Society staff in the principles and techniques of tracing;
(k) stresses the need and the right of families to obtain information on missing persons, including missing prisoners of war and those missing in action, and strongly urges States and parties to armed conflict to provide families with information on the fate of their missing relatives;
(l) urges States and parties to armed conflict to cooperate with the ICRC in tracing missing persons and providing necessary documentation. 
26th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, Geneva, 3–7 December 1995, Res. II, § D(c)–(l).
International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (1999)
The Plan of Action for the years 2000–2003 adopted in 1999 by the 27th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent proposed that all the parties to an armed conflict take effective measures to ensure that “every effort is made to clarify the fate of all persons unaccounted for and to inform the families accordingly”. 
27th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, Geneva, 31 October–6 November 1999, Res. I, Annex 2, Plan of Action for the years 2000–2003, Actions proposed for final goal 1.1, § 1(e).
European Court of Human Rights
In its judgment in Kurt v. Turkey in 1998, the European Court of Human Rights held that where it was established that a disappeared person had been in the custody of the security forces, this gave rise to a presumption of responsibility on the part of the authorities to account for that person’s subsequent fate. 
European Court of Human Rights, Kurt v. Turkey, Judgment, 25 May 1998, § 124.
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
On different occasions, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights recommended that the governments of Argentina, Chile and Guatemala provide detailed information to family members concerning the status of disappeared persons. 
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Cases of Disappeared Persons (Argentina), Resolution, 8 April 1983, § 2(a); Cases of Disappeared Persons (Chile), Resolution, 1 July 1983, § 2(a); Cases of Disappeared Persons (Guatemala), Resolution, 9 April 1986, § 4(a).
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
In 1992, in a case concerning Colombia, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights concluded:
The Colombian Government has failed to comply with its obligation to respect and guarantee Articles 4 (the right to life), 5 (the right to humane treatment), 7 (the right to personal liberty) and 25 (on judicial protection) … in respect to the abduction and subsequent disappearance of Mr. Alirio de Jesús Pedraza Becerra.
[It recommended that the Government of Colombia] continue and enlarge the investigation into the events denounced. 
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Case 10.581 (Colombia), Report, 25 September 1992, Conclusions, § 1.
Inter-American Court of Human Rights
In its judgment in the Velásquez Rodríguez case in 1988, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights found:
The duty to investigate facts of this type continues as long as there is uncertainty about the fate of the person who has disappeared. Even in the hypothetical case that those individually responsible for crimes of this type cannot be legally punished under certain circumstances, the State is obligated to use the means at its disposal to inform the relatives of the fate of the victims and, if they have been killed, the location of their remains. 
Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Velásquez Rodríguez case, Judgment, 29 July 1988, § 181.
No data.
No data.
Geneva Convention III
Article 123 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III provides:
A Central Prisoners of War Information Agency shall be created in a neutral country. The International Committee of the Red Cross shall, if it deems necessary, propose to the Powers concerned the organization of such an Agency.
The function of the Agency shall be to collect all the information it may obtain through official or private channels respecting prisoners of war, and to transmit it as rapidly as possible to the country of origin of the prisoners of war or to the Power on which they depend. It shall receive from the Parties to the conflict all facilities for effecting such transmissions.
The High Contracting Parties, and in particular those whose nationals benefit by the services of the Central Agency, are requested to give the said Agency the financial aid it may require.
The foregoing provisions shall in no way be interpreted as restricting the humanitarian activities of the International Committee of the Red Cross, or of the relief Societies provided for in Article 125. 
Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 123.
Geneva Convention IV
Article 140 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides:
A Central Information Agency for protected persons, in particular for internees, shall be created in a neutral country. The International Committee of the Red Cross shall, if it deems necessary, propose to the Powers concerned the organization of such an Agency, which may be the same as that provided for in Article 123 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War of August 12, 1949.
The function of the Agency shall be to collect all information of the type set forth in Article 136 which it may obtain through official or private channels and to transmit it as rapidly as possible to the countries of origin or of residence of the persons concerned, except in cases where such transmissions might be detrimental to the persons whom the said information concerns, or to their relatives. It shall receive from the Parties to the conflict all reasonable facilities for effecting such transmissions.
The High Contracting Parties, and in particular those whose nationals benefit by the services of the Central Agency, are requested to give the said Agency the financial aid it may require.
The foregoing provisions shall in no way be interpreted as restricting the humanitarian activities of the International Committee of the Red Cross and of the relief Societies described in Article 142. 
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 140.
Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Viet-Nam
Chapter III of the 1973 Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Viet-Nam provided that the parties were to help each other in obtaining information about military personnel and foreign civilians of the parties missing in action and to take any measures as may be required to get information about those missing. The Four-Party Joint Military Commission was to ensure joint action by the parties in implementing this part of the agreement. 
Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Viet-Nam, signed on behalf of the United States of America, the Republic of Viet-Nam, the Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam, and the Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Viet-Nam, Paris, 27 January 1973, Chapter III.
Inter-American Convention on the Enforced Disappearance of Persons
Article 12 of the 1994 Inter-American Convention on the Enforced Disappearance of Persons provides:
The States Parties shall give each other mutual assistance in the search for, identification, location, and return of minors who have been removed to another state or detained therein as a consequence of the forced disappearance of their parents or guardians. 
Inter-American Convention on the Forced Disappearance of Persons, adopted by the Twenty-fourth Regular Session of the OAS General Assembly, Res. 1256 (XXIV-O/94), Belém do Pará, 9 June 1994, Article 12.
Agreement on Refugees and Displaced Persons annexed to the Dayton Accords
Article 5 of the 1995 Agreement on Refugees and Displaced Persons annexed to the Dayton Accords provides: “The Parties shall also cooperate fully with the ICRC in its efforts to determine the identities, whereabouts and fate of the unaccounted for.” 
General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Annex 7, Agreement on Refugees and Displaced Persons, signed by the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska, Dayton, 22 November 1995, Article 5.
Convention on Enforced Disappearance
The 2006 Convention on Enforced Disappearance provides:
Recalling … relevant international instruments in the fields of human rights, humanitarian law and international criminal law,
Article 15
States Parties shall cooperate with each other and shall afford one another the greatest measure of mutual assistance with a view to assisting victims of enforced disappearance, and in searching for, locating and releasing disappeared persons and, in the event of death, in exhuming and identifying them and returning their remains. 
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, adopted by the UN General Assembly, Res. 61/177, 20 December 2006, Annex, Preamble and Article 15.
Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of IHL between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Paragraph 8 of the 1991 Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of IHL between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia provides:
The parties agree to set up a Joint Commission to trace missing persons: the Joint Commission will be made up of representatives of the parties concerned, all Red Cross Organisations concerned and in particular the Yugoslav Red Cross, the Croatian Red Cross and the Serbian Red Cross, with ICRC participation. 
Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of International Humanitarian Law between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Geneva, 27 November 1991, § 8.
Rules of Procedure of the Joint Commission to Trace Missing Persons and Mortal Remains
The 1991 Rules of Procedure of the Joint Commission to Trace Missing Persons and Mortal Remains set up in the context of the former Yugoslavia provides:
Rule 1(2)
… All of the Red Cross organizations concerned … are designated as permanent advisers to the members of the Joint Commission.
Rule 2(1)
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), acting as a neutral intermediary, shall put at the Joint Commission’s disposal a delegation which will chair the meetings of the Joint Commission.
Rule 18(1)
The ICRC shall bring to the Joint Commission’s attention, on its own initiative, any communication, proposal, plan of work or information which might contribute to the efficiency of the Joint Commission’s work. 
Joint Commission to Trace Missing Persons and Mortal Remains: Rules of Procedure and Plan of Operation, established on the Basis of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Republic of Croatia, Republic of Serbia, Yugoslav People’s Army and International Committee of the Red Cross, Pècs, 16 December 1991.
Plan of Operation for the Joint Commission to Trace Missing Persons and Mortal Remains
The 1991 Plan of Operation for the Joint Commission to Trace Missing Persons and Mortal Remains set up in the context of the former Yugoslavia states:
2.1.1 Each party is responsible for compiling a list of its reported missing, as well as a file on each missing [person] …
2.2.1 Each opened file shall be sent … to the ICRC which shall arrange for it to be forwarded to the party concerned …
2.2.2 … the adverse party/parties shall take all possible measures (administrative steps and public appeals) to obtain information on the person reported missing …
2.2.3 Once the enquiry has been completed, … the form “official request for missing person” with the accompanying documents shall be returned in duplicate to the ICRC, which shall forward them to the party on which the missing person depends. 
Plan of Operation Designed to Ascertain the Whereabouts or Fate of the Military and Civilian Missing, Annex to the Joint Commission to Trace Missing Persons and Mortal Remains: Rules of Procedure and Plan of Operation, established on the Basis of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Republic of Croatia, Republic of Serbia, Yugoslav People’s Army and the International Committee of the Red Cross, Pècs, 16 December 1991
Joint Declaration by the Presidents of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Croatia
Paragraph 3 of the Joint Declaration by the Presidents of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Croatia (October 1992) states: “The two Presidents further agree that their representatives will provide for an exchange of information on missing persons.” 
Joint Declaration by President Dobrica Cosić of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and President Franjo Tudjman of the Republic of Croatia, Geneva, 20 October 1992, annexed to Report of the UN Secretary-General on the International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia, UN Doc. S/24795, 11 November 1992, Annex VI, § 3.
UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin
Section 9.8 of the 1999 UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin provides: “The United Nations force … shall facilitate the work of the ICRC’s Central Tracing Agency.” 
Observance by United Nations Forces of International Humanitarian Law, Secretary-General’s Bulletin, UN Secretariat, UN Doc. ST/SGB/1999/13, 6 August 1999, Section 9.8.
Note. Statements found in military manuals concerning the provision of information through the Protecting Powers, the Central Tracing Agency of the International Committee of the Red Cross or the national Red Cross or Red Crescent societies have been quoted in Rule 117, Section B and are not repeated here.
Bangladesh
Bangladesh’s International Crimes (Tribunal) Act (1973) states that the “violation of any humanitarian rules applicable in armed conflicts laid down in the Geneva Conventions of 1949” is a crime. 
Bangladesh, International Crimes (Tribunal) Act, 1973, Section 3(2)(e).
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Law on Missing Persons (2004) states:
The competent authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina [are to] particularly cooperate with the ICRC, the ICMP [International Commission on Missing Persons], the MPI [Missing Persons Institute] and the Red Cross Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina in accordance with their mandates, with the aim of improving the tracing process. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Law on Missing Persons, 2004, Article 6.
Chad
Chad’s Decree on the Establishment of a Commission of Inquiry (2008) states:
Article 1: A Commission of inquiry has been established for the events that occurred in the Republic of Chad from 28 January to 08 February 2008 and their consequences.
Article 2: The mission of the commission of inquiry is to find and provide information about people reported missing …
Article 5: The President of the Commission may invite States, international institutions and organizations to participate in the work of the Commission of Inquiry as observers. 
Chad, Decree on the Establishment of a Commission of Inquiry, 2008, Articles 1–2 and 5.
Denmark
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (1973), as amended in 1978, provides:
Any person who uses war instruments or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or the general rules of international law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. a fine, lenient imprisonment or up to 12 years’ imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 1973, as amended in 1978, § 25(1).
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (2005) provides:
Any person who deliberately uses war means [“krigsmiddel”] or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or international customary law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. imprisonment up to life imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 2005, § 36(2).
El Salvador
El Salvador’s Decree Creating the National Commission for Tracing Missing Children (2010) states:
Art. 1.- The National Commission for Tracing Girls and Boys Missing during the Internal Armed Conflict, which will be referred to as “Commission” or “Tracing Commission” hereinafter.
Art. 3.- The Commission shall have the mandate to:
f) Promote … the participation of private … international … organizations, to implement actions that will contribute to determining the whereabouts of the missing girls and boys. 
El Salvador, Decree Creating the National Commission for Tracing Missing Children, 2010, Articles 1–3(f).
The Decree also states: “The Tracing Commission … may communicate and coordinate with international governmental, intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations in order to execute its mandate.” 
El Salvador, Decree Creating the National Commission for Tracing Missing Children, 2010, Article 6.
Ireland
Under Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, any “minor breach” of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, including violations of Article 123 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III and Article 140 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV, is a punishable offence. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 4(1) and (4).
Norway
Norway’s Military Penal Code (1902), as amended in 1981, provides:
Anyone who contravenes or is accessory to the contravention of provisions relating to the protection of persons or property laid down in … the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 … is liable to imprisonment. 
Norway, Military Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 1981, § 108(a).
No data.
Australia
According to the Report on the Practice of Australia, diplomatic correspondence and press releases show that, in 1984, a joint Australian-Vietnamese operation was launched “to search for the remains and resolve the cases” of six Australian personnel listed as “missing in action” in Viet Nam and “to follow up any other case which might subsequently be drawn to its attention”. The report states that the motive for the operation appears to be based primarily on political considerations (i.e. improvement of bilateral relations with Viet Nam). 
Report on the Practice of Australia, 1998, Chapter 5.2.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
In 2005, in its initial report to the Human Rights Committee, Bosnia and Herzegovina stated that its Law on Missing Persons (2004) includes provisions for the “direct cooperation of competent authorities throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina with neighbouring countries, in which the disappearance of a missing person might have occurred”. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Initial report to the Human Rights Committee, 24 November 2005, UN Doc. CCPR/C/BIH/1, § 46.
El Salvador
In 2008, in its third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, El Salvador stated:
The fieldwork [of the Inter-Institutional Commission to search for children who disappeared owing to armed conflict in El Salvador] includes interviews … with officials of … international institutions, such as … the International [Committee of the] Red Cross … , from which valuable and important information has been obtained. 
El Salvador, Third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, 23 July 2009, UN Doc. CRC/C/SLV/3-4, submitted 21 February 2008, § 383.
Germany
In 1995, in reply to a question in parliament, the German Government declared that it fully supported all efforts undertaken by UNHCR and the ICRC to find missing persons in the region of Srebrenica and to take care of them. 
Germany, Lower House of Parliament, Reply by the government to a question, Verbleib der Verschwundenen aus Srebrenica, BT-Drucksache 13/2877, 7 November 1995, p. 1.
Germany
In 1995, during a debate in the UN Security Council, Germany expressed its government’s full support for “the ongoing efforts of the ICRC and United Nations representatives to gain access to … information about the fate of all missing persons”. 
Germany, Statement before the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/PV.3591, 9 November 1995, pp. 2–3.
Honduras
In 1995, during a debate in the UN Security Council, Honduras stated that it considered it “deplorable that the parties have not fulfilled their commitments to allow the International Committee of the Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations to have access to persons … reported missing”. 
Honduras, Statement before the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/PV.3591, 9 November 1995, pp. 6–7.
Indonesia
In 1995, during a debate in the UN Security Council, Indonesia associated itself “with the demands that … representatives of UNHCR, the ICRC and other international agencies [be granted] unconditional access to persons … reported missing”. 
Indonesia, Statement before the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/PV.3612, 21 December 1995, p. 12.
Iraq
In 2009, in its comments on the “status of the Protocols additional to the 1949 Geneva Conventions relating to the protection of victims of armed conflict”, Iraq stated:
1. Iraq acceded to the first [A]dditional Protocol by Law No. 85 of 2001.
2. A working agreement was concluded with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) that empowered [the] ICRC, with the coordination and cooperation of the Ministry of Human Rights, to carry out its mandate, in accordance with the 1949 Geneva Conventions and its Protocols, to follow up the humanitarian file relating to prisoners, missing persons and the remains of war victims through a number of committees that were established by the Tripartite Commission which was constituted on 8 March 1991. One adjunct to the Commission was the Technical Subcommittee, the members of which include, in addition to Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, France, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America.
3. Two further committees were established concerning relations with Iran, namely, the Prisoners and Missing Persons Committee, which is a joint Iraq-Iran committee, and the joint Iraq-Iran technical committee that seeks the remains of war victims. Those committees operated up until 2003, after which two memorandums of understanding were concluded. The first, that was signed on 11 June 2008 by Iraq and ICRC, concerned follow-up to the Iraqi and Iranian prisoners file. The second, concluded by Iraq, Iran and ICRC, was signed in Geneva, Switzerland, on 16 October 2008, and concerned oversight of the work of the subcommittees. 
Iraq, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Iraq to the UN, Comments of the Government of Iraq on the status of the Protocols Additional to the 1949 Geneva Conventions relating to the protection of victims of armed conflicts, 7 July 2009, §§ 1–3.
Iraq
In 2010, Iraq’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a press release entitled “Foreign [M]inister receives the head of the Iraq program [of the] ICMP”, which stated:
On Feb. 082010, the [Minister of Foreign Affairs] received in his office the head of [the] Iraq program [of] the ICMP [International Commission on Missing Persons] where the [ICMP]’s work program [in Iraq] was discussed … and the necessity of starting an own office in Baghdad to support [the] government’s efforts to solve the issue of the missing persons.
Th[e ICMP] is not a specialized UN agency, but rather a non[-]governmental committee concerned with handling issues of missing persons during the Iran-Iraq war, the second [G]ulf war, and the victims [buried in] mass graves during the reign of the ex[-]regime, as well as persons [gone] missing in operations after 2003 due to armed conflicts and terror operations[. Such handling is done] based on DNA traces of the missing persons. During the meeting, prospects of signing a cooperation agreement between Iraq and the ICMP were discussed, [and] both [the] [M]inistries of [H]uman [R]ights and [F]oreign [A]ffairs approved such signature to make use of the organization’s services. 
Iraq, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Foreign [M]inister receives the head of [the] Iraq program [of the] ICMP”, Press Release, 8 February 2010.
Iraq
In 2011, Iraq’s Ministry of Human Rights issued a press release entitled “Statement: The [M]inistry of [H]uman [R]ights receives 38 remains from the Iranian side”, which stated:
The [M]inistry of [H]uman Rights had received on Tuesday Feb. 01, 2011 [at the] Shalamja border crossing the remains of 38 Iraqi martyrs that lost their lives during the Iraqi-Iranian war. … Five of the martyrs received were of known identity and [this] shall be duly published after testing and inspection, to be delivered to their families. The names of the known martyrs were published by the [M]inistry in the media … and were not received by their families yet.
It is worth mentioning that the number of remains received from [the] Iranian side had reached 249, some of them of known and [some of] unknown identities[,] while 52 Iranian remains were handed over to the Iranian side from 2003 until this date[.] 
Iraq, Ministry of Human Rights, “Statement: The [M]inistry of [H]uman [R]ights receives 38 remains from the Iranian side”, Press Release, 2 February 2011.
Iraq
In 2011, Iraq’s Ministry of Human Rights issued a press release entitled “T[h]e Minister of Human [R]ights meets the head of the ICRC and discusses … the file of missing Kuwaitis”, which stated:
[T]he [M]inister [of Human Rights] expressed [the] gratitude of the [R]epublic of Iraq to the ICRC for its efforts in Iraq and his wishes for the continuation of such cooperation …
The [M]inister also expressed his hope to obtain support in the file of missing Kuwaitis that Iraq looks forward to finaliz[ing, it] being a humanitarian commitment before being a legal one, as the new Iraq is working hard with all possible means to apply humanitarian standards in all its activities. … The [M]inister said that he expressed to the [G]overnment of Kuwait his keenness to finalize this file once and for all. 
Iraq, Ministry of Human Rights, “T[h]e Minister of Human [R]ights meets the head of the ICRC and discusses … the file of missing Kuwaitis”, Press Release, 3 March 2011.
Iraq
In 2011, Iraq’s Ministry of Human Rights issued a press release entitled “The [M]inistry of Human [R]ights signs an MOU with the ICRC”, which stated:
[T]he [M]inister of [H]uman [R]ights said that the aim of [the] signing of this MOU is to strengthen the capacity of t[h]e Zubair center in Basrah to enhance the process of dealing with the remains of martyrs and to develop technologies required to preserve such remains.
He added that the history of cooperation between Iraq and the ICRC [goes] back to 1980[,] stating that it is imperative that Iraq is working to continue with such cooperation through provision of technologies and equipment and preparations of t[he] [M]inistry to deal with missing Iraqis[’] and Iranian[s’] files.
He indicated that such preparations require the readiness of [the] Zubair [C]enter in the fi[el]d of identifying the remains through DNA testing and preparing the center to receive such remains, expressing his hope that the ICRC would consider Iraq’s positive response regarding the Kuwaiti and Iranian files and the future efforts in this course. He expressed the [M]insitry[’s] readiness to deal with any piece of information from the American or Kuwaiti sides regarding this issue in addition to [the] [M]inistry’s own efforts. 
Iraq, Ministry of Human Rights, “The [M]inistry of Human [R]ights signs an MOU with the ICRC”, Press Release, 13 March 2011, p. 1.
Iraq
In 2011, Iraq’s Ministry of Human Rights issued a press release entitled “The Min[is]try of Human Rights hands over remains [from the] Iraq-Iran war to the Iranian sid[e]”, which stated:
The Iraqi side, represented by the [M]inistry of [H]uman [R]ights, handed over to Iran the remains of 17 Iranians [on] April 04, 2011 through [the] Al-Shalamja border crossing. … It is worth mentioning that Iran handed over to Iraq 38 remains of Iraqi martyrs, 6 of which were of known identity and [whose] names were published in local media.
The exchange of remains process between the two sides shall continue as soon as such remains are found[,] according to the two MOUs signed by Iraq[,] represented by the Ministry of Human Rights[,] and Iran, in coordi[n]ation with the ICRC. 
Iraq, Ministry of Human Rights, “The Min[is]try of Human Rights hands over remains [from the] Iraq-Iran war to the Iranian sid[e]”, Press Release, 4 April 2011.
Iraq
In 2011, Iraq’s Ministry of Human Rights issued a press release entitled “The Minister of Human Rights discusses with the ICRC a proposal related to detention institutions”, which stated:
[T]he Minister of Human Rights had discussed with … the head of [the] ICRC delegation to Iraq the excavations taking place in Fao city and the search for the remains of Iranians [gone] missing during the first [G]ulf war and the possibility of involving the Iranian side which offered its cooperation in this field.  
Iraq, Ministry of Human Rights, “The Minister of Human Rights discusses with the ICRC a proposal related to detention institutions”, Press Release, 19 December 2011.
Iraq
In 2012, Iraq’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a press release entitled “Foreign Minister meets UNICEF representatives and chief of ICRC mission in Iraq”, which stated:
The Foreign [M]inister also met with … [t]he head of [the] ICRC delegation to Iraq … Exploration for the remains of missing Iraqi and Iranian LIAs [persons lost in action] in [the] Fao and Majnoun areas, and the work[] of the Iraqi-Iranian-ICRC [tripartite] committee were also discussed.
The [M]inister also demonstrated the results of Iraqi-Kuwaiti discussions during the work[] of the second session of the [H]igh [M]inisterial [C]ommittee, mainly the humanitarian file, assuring the Iraqi-Kuwaiti cooperation is continuing in search of Kuwaiti missing persons and properties, adding that this issue was discussed in detail and several recommendations were put forward to continue the search and turn[] the issue into a bilateral issue under the supervision of the ICRC o[r] UNAMI [UN Assistance Mission for Iraq] if required. 
Iraq, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Foreign Minister meets UNICEF representatives and chief of ICRC mission in Iraq”, Press Release, 6 May 2012.
Iraq
In 2012, Iraq’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a press release concerning the file on the missing, which stated:
The technical committee [created] to discu[ss] [the issue of] missing Iraqis and Kuwaitis had held its 76th meeting in Kuwait [on] 16-19 of September 2012 [in] the presence of all committee members (Iraq, Kuwait, the US, the UK, and France) under the supervision of the ICRC, which chaired the meeting. The activities of the [Iraqi] Human Rights [M]inistry were discussed, mainly th[o]se related to excavation and exploration in proposed burial locations of Kuwaiti missing citizens, and preparations for excavating in new burial locations in [the] Al-Khamisiyah area in Dhi Qar province. The meeting also discussed the necessity of contacting Iraqi witnesses in[side] and out[side] of Iraq who have information of missing Kuwaitis, and [of] making use of updated technologies like aerial photography and GPR devices in [the] exploration of burial sites, demanding member countries (US, UK, and France) to provide expertise and training in the field. During the meeting, [it was] stress[ed] that [the] ICRC shall provide [the] most updated information adopted in forensic medicine and analysis of information, and [the] Kuwaiti side [was asked] to explore new areas where potential Iraqi missing persons might be buried. 
Iraq, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “The File on the Missing”, Press Release, 1 October 2012.
Italy
In 1995, during a debate in the UN Security Council, Italy supported a resolution aimed at granting representatives of UNHCR, the ICRC and other international agencies unconditional access to persons reported missing. 
Italy, Statement before the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/PV.3612, 21 December 1995, p. 14.
Nepal
In 2004, in a declaration of commitment on the implementation of human rights and international humanitarian law, the Prime Minister of Nepal stated: “HMG [His Majesty’s Government] assures full cooperation to establish the fate and whereabouts of reported missing persons. HMG will continue to provide cooperation to the ICRC, including the access to all places of detention.” 
Nepal, Declaration of commitment on the implementation of human rights and international humanitarian law, 26 March 2004, § 22.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 1995, during a debate in the UN Security Council, the United Kingdom stated that it was essential that the ICRC be given full access to those missing from Srebrenica and elsewhere and urged the Bosnian Serb party to comply with its obligations in this respect. 
United Kingdom, Statement before the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/PV.3612, 21 December 1995, pp. 8–9.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2004, in a written answer to a question concerning civilian fatalities in Iraq, the UK Minister of State for Defence stated:
UK forces inform the International Committee of the Red Cross of all confirmed civilian fatalities of which they are aware have been caused, or allegedly caused, by UK forces. The ICRC then endeavours to inform the relatives as soon as practicable. 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Written answer by the Minister of State for Defence, Hansard, 12 January 2004, Vol. 416, Written Answers, col. 537W.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1995 on violations of IHL in the former Yugoslavia, the UN Security Council:
Reiterating its strong support for the efforts of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in seeking access to … persons … reported missing and condemning in the strongest possible terms the failure of the Bosnian Serb party to comply with their commitments in respect of such access,
2. Reaffirms its demand that the Bosnian Serb party give immediate and unimpeded access to representatives of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the ICRC and other international agencies to persons … reported missing. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1019, 9 November 1995, preamble and § 2, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1995 on violations of IHL and of human rights in the former Yugoslavia, the UN Security Council:
Reiterates its strong support for the efforts of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in seeking access to … persons … reported missing and calls on all parties to comply with their commitments in respect of such access. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1034, 21 December 1995, § 4, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the situation in Western Sahara, the UN Security Council called upon Morocco and the Polisario Front “to continue to cooperate with the International Committee of the Red Cross to resolve the fate of persons who are unaccounted for since the beginning of the conflict”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1598, 28 April 2005, preamble, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the situation in Western Sahara, the UN Security Council called upon the parties “to continue to cooperate with the International Committee of the Red Cross to resolve the fate of persons who are unaccounted for since the beginning of the conflict”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1634, 28 October 2005, preamble, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1994 on the situation of human rights in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), the UN General Assembly:
Urges all parties to the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, and in particular in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) to cooperate with the “Special Process” on Missing Persons in the Territory of the former Yugoslavia … in determining the fate of thousands of missing persons by disclosing information and documentation on inmates in prisons, camps and other places of detention in order to finally locate such persons and alleviate the suffering of their relatives. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 49/196, 23 December 1994, § 25, voting record: 150-0-14-21.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1995 on the situation of human rights in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), the UN General Assembly:
Dismayed by the huge number of missing persons still unaccounted for, particularly in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Croatia,
22. Urges all parties, and in particular the Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), to cooperate with the “special process” dealing with the problem of missing persons in the territory of the former Yugoslavia … by disclosing information and documentation on inmates in prisons, camps and other places of detention;
28. Notes with concern that many of the past recommendations of the Special Rapporteur have not been fully implemented, in some cases because of resistance by the parties on the ground, and urges the parties, all States and relevant organizations to give immediate consideration to them, in particular the calls of the former and the current Special Rapporteurs:
(a) For the de facto Bosnian Serb authorities to provide prompt access for monitors to territories controlled by them, in particular to the Banja Luka region and to Srebrenica, emphasizing that the fate of thousands of missing persons from Srebrenica requires immediate clarification. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 50/193, 22 December 1995, preamble and §§ 22 and 28(a), voting record: 144-1-20-20.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1999 on the situation of human rights in Kosovo, the UN General Assembly encouraged the ICRC “to pursue its clarification efforts in regard [to the high number of missing persons from Kosovo], in cooperation with other organizations such as the OSCE”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 54/183, 17 December 1999, § 18, voting record: 108-4-45-31.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on the question of Western Sahara, the UN General Assembly:
Calls upon the parties to cooperate with the International Committee of the Red Cross in its efforts to solve the problem of the fate of the people unaccounted for, and calls upon the parties to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law to release without further delay all those held since the start of the conflict.  
UN General Assembly, Res. 58/109, 9 December 2003, § 7, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on the question of Western Sahara, the UN General Assembly:
Calls upon the parties to cooperate with the International Committee of the Red Cross in its efforts to solve the problem of the fate of the people unaccounted for, and calls upon the parties to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law to release without further delay all those held since the start of the conflict. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 59/131, 10 December 2004, § 7, voting record: 50-0-100-41.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on missing persons, the UN General Assembly:
7. Invites States which are parties to an armed conflict to cooperate fully with the International Committee of the Red Cross in establishing the fate of missing persons and to adopt a comprehensive approach to this issue, including all practical and coordination mechanisms that may be necessary, based on humanitarian considerations only;
8. Urges States and encourages intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to take all necessary measures at the national, regional and international levels to address the problem of persons reported missing in connection with armed conflicts and to provide appropriate assistance as requested by the States concerned. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 59/189, 20 December 2004, §§ 7–8, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the question of Western Sahara, the UN General Assembly:
Calls upon the parties to cooperate with the International Committee of the Red Cross in its efforts to solve the problem of the fate of the people unaccounted for, and calls upon the parties to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law to release without further delay all those held since the start of the conflict. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 60/114, 8 December 2005, § 8, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2006 on the question of Western Sahara, the UN General Assembly:
Calls upon the parties to cooperate with the International Committee of the Red Cross in its efforts to solve the problem of the fate of the people unaccounted for, and calls upon the parties to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law to release without further delay all those held since the start of the conflict. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 61/125, 14 December 2006, § 8, voting record: 70-0-91-31.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2006 on missing persons, the UN General Assembly:
6. Recognizes, in this regard, the need for the collection, protection and management of data on missing persons according to international and national legal norms and standards, and urges States to cooperate with each other and with other concerned actors working in this area, inter alia, by providing all relevant and appropriate information related to missing persons;
8. Invites States that are parties to an armed conflict to cooperate fully with the International Committee of the Red Cross in establishing the fate of missing persons and to adopt a comprehensive approach to this issue, including all practical and coordination mechanisms as may be necessary, based on humanitarian considerations only;
9. Urges States and encourages intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to take all necessary measures at the national, regional and international levels to address the problem of persons reported missing in connection with armed conflicts and to provide appropriate assistance as requested by the concerned States, and welcomes, in this regard, the establishment and efforts of commissions and working groups on missing persons. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 61/155, 19 December 2006, §§ 6 and 8–9, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1994 on the situation of human rights in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, the UN Commission on Human Rights urged all the parties “to cooperate in determining the fate of thousands of missing persons”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1994/72, 9 March 1994, § 23, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1995 on the special process dealing with the problem of missing persons in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, the UN Commission on Human Rights urged all the parties “to cooperate by disclosing all relevant available information and documentation in order to determine the fate of the thousands of missing persons”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1995/35, 3 March 1995, § 3, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1995, the UN Commission on Human Rights asked for the cooperation of the parties to the conflict in Afghanistan in the tracing of the many persons reported missing as a result of the war. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1995/74, 8 March 1995, §§ 7–8, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1996 on the situation of human rights in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), the UN Commission on Human Rights welcomed “the report of the expert member of the Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances on the special process on missing persons in the territory of the former Yugoslavia”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1996/71, 23 April 1996, preamble, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution on missing persons adopted in 2002, the UN Commission on Human Rights:
6. Invites States which are parties to an armed conflict to cooperate fully with the International Committee of the Red Cross in establishing the fate of missing persons and to adopt a comprehensive approach to this issue, including all practical and coordination mechanisms as may be necessary, based on humanitarian considerations only;
7. Urges States and encourages intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to take all necessary measures at the national, regional and international levels to address the problem of persons reported missing in connection with armed conflicts and to provide appropriate assistance as requested by the concerned States. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2002/60, 25 April 2002, §§ 6–7, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on the question of Western Sahara, the UN Commission on Human Rights called upon “the parties to cooperate with the International Committee of the Red Cross in its efforts to solve the problem of the fate of people unaccounted for”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2003/1, 14 April 2003, § 11, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on the question of Western Sahara, the UN Commission on Human Rights called upon “the parties to cooperate with the International Committee of the Red Cross in its efforts to solve the problem of the fate of people unaccounted for”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2004/4, 8 April 2004, § 7, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on missing persons, the UN Commission on Human Rights:
7. Invites States which are parties to an armed conflict to cooperate fully with the International Committee of the Red Cross in establishing the fate of missing persons and to adopt a comprehensive approach to this issue, including all practical and coordination mechanisms as may be necessary, based on humanitarian considerations only;
8. Urges States and encourages intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations to take all necessary measures at the national, regional and international levels to address the problem of persons reported missing in connection with armed conflicts and to provide appropriate assistance as requested by the concerned States. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2004/50, 20 April 2004, §§ 7–8, voting record: 52-0-1.
UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1985 on Guatemala, the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights requested that the government allow international humanitarian organizations, in particular the ICRC, to investigate the fate of the disappeared. 
UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1985/28, 30 August 1985, § 4.
High Representative for the Implementation of the Peace Agreement on Bosnia and Herzegovina
In March 1996, the High Representative for the Implementation of the Peace Agreement on Bosnia and Herzegovina reported that, following consultation with the parties, a Working Group on Missing Persons chaired by the ICRC had been established. He also reported that a Working Group on Missing Persons and Exhumation had been created in conjunction with several UN agencies. 
High Representative for the Implementation of the Peace Agreement on Bosnia and Herzegovina, Report, UN Doc. S/1996/190, 14 March 1996, Annex, §§ 75–76.
In July 1996, the High Representative reported that considerable efforts had been made by relevant national authorities and international mechanisms, notably by the Expert Group on Missing Persons and Exhumation, the UN Special Rapporteurs on the former Yugoslavia and on missing persons and the Working Group on Persons Unaccounted For, towards establishing the fate of missing persons and the location of mass grave sites.  
High Representative for the Implementation of the Peace Agreement on Bosnia and Herzegovina, Report, UN Doc. S/1996/542, 10 July 1996, Annex, § 41.
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
In 1981, in its consideration of a report on refugees from El Salvador presented by the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Demography, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly noted that one of the main activities of the ICRC in El Salvador was tracing missing persons, with its Central Tracing Agency bureau acting as an intermediary between persons arrested or missing and their families. 
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Working Document, Report on Refugees in El Salvador, Doc. 4698, 7 April 1981, p. 10.
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
In a resolution on the situation in Cyprus adopted in 1984, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly welcomed the continued consideration of the issue of missing persons on both sides in the context of the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus and urged the parties to continue their deliberations. 
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Res. 816, 21 March 1984, p. 117, § 12.
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
In a recommendation adopted in 1996 on refugees, displaced persons and reconstruction in certain countries of the former Yugoslavia, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly invited member States to give support to the ICRC in the implementation of the tasks conferred upon it under the 1995 Dayton Accords, namely to clarify the fate of missing persons. 
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Rec. 1287, 24 January 1996, p. 5, § viii(d).
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
In an opinion adopted in 1996 on Croatia’s request for membership of the Council of Europe, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly expressed its expectation that Croatia would cooperate with international humanitarian organizations and take all necessary steps to solve several ongoing humanitarian problems, notably in connection with missing persons. 
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Opinion No. 195 (1996) on Croatia’s request for membership of the Council of Europe, Human rights information sheet No. 38, April 1996, p. 110, § 10(ii).
European Parliament
In a resolution adopted in 1983 on the problem of missing persons in Cyprus, the European Parliament urged the ICRC to provide all assistance necessary for the speedy and effective completion of the investigations. 
European Parliament, Resolution on the problem of missing persons in Cyprus, 11 January 1983, § 2.
European Parliament
In a resolution adopted in 1988 on the situation in Cyprus, the European Parliament suggested that the Foreign Ministers meeting in Council should endeavour to obtain an agreement from all of the parties involved to call on the ICRC to carry out independent searches whenever it was felt that relevant facts could be uncovered. 
European Parliament, Resolution on the situation in Cyprus, 27 June 1988, §§ 7–8.
International Conference of the Red Cross (1973)
The 22nd International Conference of the Red Cross in 1973 adopted a resolution on the missing and dead in armed conflicts in which it called on parties to armed conflicts:
to co-operate with Protecting Powers, with the ICRC and its Central Tracing Agency, and with such other appropriate bodies as may be established for this purpose, and in particular National Red Cross Societies, to accomplish the humanitarian mission of accounting for the dead and missing, including those belonging to third countries not parties to the armed conflict. 
22nd International Conference of the Red Cross, Teheran, 8–15 November 1973, Res. V.
International Conference of the Red Cross (1986)
The 25th International Conference of the Red Cross in 1986 adopted a resolution on cooperation between National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and governments in reuniting dispersed families. The resolution reaffirmed the constant willingness of National Societies to “co-operate in humanitarian action, in reuniting members of dispersed families, in exchanging information regarding families and in facilitating the search for missing persons” and called upon governments to support the efforts of National Societies “dealing with the problems of conducting searches and reuniting families”. 
25th International Conference of the Red Cross, Geneva, 23–31 October 1986, Res. XV, §§ 1 and 2.
Peace Implementation Conference for Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Conclusions of the London Peace Implementation Conference for Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995 state that fulfilment of the 1995 Dayton Accords will require “full cooperation of the parties over … the provision of information about the fate of persons unaccounted for”. 
Peace Implementation Conference for Bosnia and Herzegovina, London, 8–9 December 1995, Conclusions, annexed to Letter dated 11 December 1995 from the United Kingdom to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/1995/1029, 12 December 1995, § 25.
No data.
ICRC
In 1980, in the context of the conflict in Lebanon, the ICRC undertook to search for missing persons. 
ICRC, Annual Report 1980, Geneva, 1981, p. 60.
ICRC
Following the Gulf War in 1991, a Tripartite Commission was established under ICRC auspices to trace people reported missing. The Commission is made up of representatives of Iraq, on the one hand, and of France, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and the United States, on the other.
ICRC
In a joint declaration with UNICEF and UNHCR in 1994, the ICRC and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies reaffirmed the need to do everything possible to ensure the survival and protection of unaccompanied children, trace their families and facilitate family reunification. 
ICRC, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, UNHCR and UNICEF, Joint declaration on family reunification, 27 June 1994.
ICRC
In 1996, in a briefing on progress made in investigating violations of international law in certain areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights noted that a Working Group chaired by the ICRC had been set up to implement a process for the tracing of missing persons, in which the three parties to the conflict also participated. As agreed in the 1995 Dayton Accords, the ICRC was to be fully involved in the question of missing persons and to collect information from families. The ICRC relied on its own extensive network of offices and local branches throughout the former Yugoslavia. In June 1996, it also implemented a new step in its tracing procedure by launching a public campaign calling for people to come forward with any information they might have. The Expert Group on Missing Persons and Exhumations was said to seek to coordinate procedures on exhumations among the concerned international authorities. The briefing also stated that international agencies and authorities indicated that they generally had no problems with immediate and unimpeded access to areas throughout the country in pursuit of their mandated activities. 
Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Briefing on Progress Reached in Investigation of Violations of International Law in the areas of Srebrenica, Žepa, Banja Luka and Sanski Most pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1034 (1995), 22 August 1996, §§ 12–13, p. 20.
Hezb-i-Islami
In 1988, the Hezb-i-Islami faction in Afghanistan advised its fighters to give all possible assistance to the ICRC in its efforts to trace missing persons. 
Hezb-i-Islami, Monthly Bulletin, Communiqué on International Humanitarian Law, October 1988.
Note: For practice concerning respect for family rights, see Rule 105.
Geneva Convention IV
Article 26 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides:
Each Party to the conflict shall facilitate enquiries made by members of families dispersed owing to the war, with the object of renewing contact with one another and of meeting, if possible. It shall encourage, in particular, the work of organizations engaged on this task provided they are acceptable to it and conform to its security regulations. 
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 26.
Additional Protocol I
Article 32 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I states that, in the implementation of the section concerning the missing and the dead, the parties “shall be prompted mainly by the right of families to know the fate of their relatives”. 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 32. Article 32 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.37, 24 May 1977, p. 71.
African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child
Article 19(3) of the 1990 African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child provides:
Where separation results from the action of a State Party, the State Party shall provide the child, or if appropriate, another member of the family with essential information concerning the whereabouts of the absent member or members of the family. States Parties shall also ensure that the submission of such a request shall not entail any adverse consequences for the person or persons in whose respect it is made. 
African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, adopted by the Sixteenth Ordinary Session of the OAU Assembly of Heads of State and Government, Res. 197 (XVI), Monrovia, 17–20 July 1990, OAU Doc. CAB/LEG/24.9/49 (1990), Article 19(3).
Convention on Enforced Disappearance
The 2006 Convention on Enforced Disappearance provides:
Recalling … relevant international instruments in the fields of human rights, humanitarian law and international criminal law,
Affirming the right of any victim to know the truth about the circumstances of an enforced disappearance and the fate of the disappeared person, and the right to freedom to seek, receive and impart information to this end,
Article 24
1. For the purposes of this Convention, “victim” means the disappeared person and any individual who has suffered harm as the direct result of an enforced disappearance.
2. Each victim has the right to know the truth regarding the circumstances of the enforced disappearance, … and the fate of the disappeared person. Each State shall take appropriate measures in this regard. 
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, adopted by the UN General Assembly, Res. 61/177, 20 December 2006, Annex, Preamble and Article 24.
Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement
Principles 16(1) and 17(4) of the 1998 Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement specify that families of “all internally displaced persons have the right to know the fate and whereabouts of missing relatives”. 
Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, presented to the UN Commission on Human Rights by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Internally Displaced Persons, UN Doc. E/CN.4/1998/53/Add.2, 11 February 1998, Principles 16(1) and 17(4).
UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin
Section 9.8 of the 1999 UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin provides: “The United Nations force shall respect the right of the families to know about the fate of their sick, wounded and deceased relatives.” 
Observance by United Nations Forces of International Humanitarian Law, Secretary-General’s Bulletin, UN Secretariat, UN Doc. ST/SGB/1999/13, 6 August 1999, Section 9.8.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1989) provides that a general principle is “for families to have the right to know the fate of their relatives”. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, PC-08-01, Público, Edición 1989, Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, aprobado por Resolución No. 489/89 del Ministerio de Defensa, 23 April 1990, § 2.05.
The manual also provides that the High Contracting Parties and the parties to the conflict shall in particular
facilitate enquiries made by members of families dispersed owing to the war, with the object of renewing contact with one another and of meeting, if possible. All persons in the territory of a Party to the conflict, or in a territory occupied by it, shall be enabled to give news of a strictly personal nature to members of their families, wherever they may be, and to receive news from them. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, PC-08-01, Público, Edición 1989, Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, aprobado por Resolución No. 489/89 del Ministerio de Defensa, 23 April 1990, § 4.14.
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) provides:
The request for information relating to either the missing or the dead must be humanitarian in nature and stem from the need for relatives to be notified of their whereabouts and subsequent repatriation, or re-interment. Should there be any controversy resulting from the request for information, the humanitarian needs and interests of the families concerned must prevail. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 995.
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
The request for information relating to either the missing or the dead must be humanitarian in nature and stem from the need for relatives to be notified of their whereabouts and subsequent repatriation, or re-internment. Should there be any controversy resulting from the request for information, the humanitarian needs and interests of the families concerned must prevail. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 9.100.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Belgium
Belgium’s Specific Procedure on the Prisoners of War Information Bureau (2007) states that the tasks of the PWIB (Prisoners of War Information Bureau) include:
d. Concerning Belgian prisoners of war, wounded, sick and dead in the power of an enemy nation:
- Receiving from the CTA [Central Tracing Agency] all relevant information;
- Transmitting the information received to the families concerned, in accordance with the wishes of the individual concerned, if expressed.
e. Replying to all enquiries addressed to the Bureau concerning prisoners of war, including those who have died in captivity. The PWIB will undertake or commission the necessary investigations in order to acquire missing information. 
Belgium, Structure et fonctionnement du Bureau de Renseignements sur les prisonniers de guerre, Procédure spécifique, Ministère de la Défense, 2007, p. 7, § 7(d) and (e).
The Specific Procedure further provides:
If the Belgian PW [prisoner of war] has not expressed his refusal to have his family informed of his situation, a letter will be sent to the address of the person mentioned as “to be informed.” This letter shall contain the following information, in so far as available:
- surname;
- given name(s);
- identity card number;
- place and full date of birth;
- name and address of the person to be informed;
- address to which correspondence for the prisoner may be sent.
If applicable, the following information shall also be communicated:
- release date;
- repatriation date;
- admissions to hospital;
- any sickness or wounds (without prejudice to medical secrecy). 
Belgium, Structure et fonctionnement du Bureau de Renseignements sur les prisonniers de guerre, Procédure spécifique, Ministère de la Défense, 2007, p. 11, § 12(c)(1).
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (1992) provides that the families of the dead and victims of war have the right to know the fate of their relatives. 
Cameroon, Droit international humanitaire et droit de la guerre, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les Forces Armées, Présidence de la République, Ministère de la Défense, Etat-major des Armées, Troisième Division, Edition 1992, p. 21.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states: “The families of the [missing] have the right to know the fate of their relatives.” 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 95, § 352.30
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) contains provisions stipulating that “belligerents must facilitate enquiries by members of families dispersed as the result of war with the object of renewing contact between them”. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 11-3, § 28.
Kenya
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997) states: “The basi[c] principles relating to ‘missing and dead’ persons, military or civilians, are based on the right of the families to know the fate of their relatives.” 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 2, p. 14; see also Précis No. 4, p. 5.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Laws of War (1998) recalls the 1977 Additional Protocols which “specify the families’ right to know the fate of their relatives”. 
Israel, Laws of War in the Battlefield, Manual, Military Advocate General Headquarters, Military School, 1998, p. 61.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states that the 1977 Additional Protocols “indicate the right of the families to know the fate of [their relatives]”. 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 39.
The Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) is a second edition of the Manual on the Laws of War (1998).
Madagascar
Madagascar’s Military Manual (1994) provides: “The provisions of the law of war concerning the dead are based on the right of the families to know the fate of their members.” 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. 4-SO, § C; see also Fiche No. 1-T, § 22(3).
Mexico
Mexico’s Army and Air Force Manual (2009) states: “Families have the right to know what has become of their relatives.” 
Mexico, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para el Ejército y la Fuerza Área Mexicanos, Ministry of National Defence, June 2009, § 204.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) provides: “Belligerents must facilitate enquiries by members of families dispersed as a result of the war, with the object of renewing contact between them.” 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 1113(2).
Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) states: “The families of the victims of armed conflicts have the right to know what has happened to them, and the victims have the right to receive news from their family.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 85.a.
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states: “The families of the victims of armed conflicts have the right to know what has happened to them, and the victims have the right to receive news from their family.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 76(a), p. 274.
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone’s Instructor Manual (2007) states:
When tactically possible, searches must be carried out to look for “missing” (who may be wounded) to try to confirm their status and ultimately to keep their family informed. The same practice should be done to look for enemy listed as missing and also civilians reported as missing. 
Sierra Leone, The Law of Armed Conflict. Instructor Manual for the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Armed Forces Education Centre, September 2007, p. 40.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) provides: “The provisions of the law of armed conflicts concerning the dead are based on the right of the families to know the fate of their relatives.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 5.2.d.(6).
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states: “The provisions of the law of armed conflict concerning enemy dead are based on the right of families to know what has happened to them.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 5.2.d.(6).
Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states:
“Missing persons” mean persons who are missing during hostilities and whose whereabouts are unknown.
Regarding such persons, the Parties to an armed conflict shall be primarily guided by the right of the families to know about the fate of their relatives. 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, § 1.2.29.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) states: “Belligerents must facilitate enquiries by members of families dispersed as a result of war, with the object of renewing contact between them.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 38.
United States of America
The US Field Manual (1956) reproduces Article 26 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV. 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, § 265.
United States of America
The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976) stipulates that the 1949 Geneva Convention IV contains “measures for facilitating the establishment of contact between members of a family who have been separated because of the war”. 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 14-3.
United States of America
The Annotated Supplement to the US Naval Handbook (1997) states: “The United States also supports the new principles in [the 1977 Additional Protocol] I, art. 32 & 34, that families have the right to know the fate of their relatives.” 
United States, Annotated Supplement to the Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, prepared by the Oceans Law and Policy Department, Center for Naval Warfare Studies, Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, November 1997, § 11.4, footnote 19.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Law on Missing Persons (2004) states:
Family members have a right to know the fate of their missing family members/relatives, including their whereabouts, or, if dead, the circumstances and cause of their death, as well as the place of burial if known, and to receive their mortal remains. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Law on Missing Persons, 2004, Article 3.
The Law also states:
Competent authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina shall have the obligation to ensure that the members of the missing persons’ families exercise their rights stipulated by this law and other relevant laws in Bosnia and Herzegovina under equal conditions, regardless of whether the missing person was a member of armed forces or a civilian, without any adverse discrimination, including discrimination based on sex, race, colour, language, religion or faith, political and other affiliations, national and social origin, belonging to a national minority, material status, age, mental or physical disability, status acquired by birth or any other status. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Law on Missing Persons, 2004, Article 10.
Chile
Chile’s Law the Establishment of a National Authority for Compensation and Reconciliation (1992), as amended in 2004, states that “the localization of disappeared detained persons and of the bodies of executed persons as well as the clarification of the circumstances of the disappearance or death constitute an inalienable right of the relatives of the victims and of Chilean society”. 
Chile, Law on the Establishment of a National Authority for Compensation and Reconciliation, 1992, as amended in 2004, Article 6.
Denmark
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (1973), as amended in 1978, provides:
Any person who uses war instruments or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or the general rules of international law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. a fine, lenient imprisonment or up to 12 years’ imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 1973, as amended in 1978, § 25(1).
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (2005) provides:
Any person who deliberately uses war means [“krigsmiddel”] or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or international customary law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. imprisonment up to life imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 2005, § 36(2).
El Salvador
El Salvador’s Decree Creating the National Commission for Tracing Missing Children (2010) states:
Art. 1.- The National Commission for Tracing Girls and Boys Missing during the Internal Armed Conflict, which will be referred to as “Commission” or “Tracing Commission” hereinafter.
Art. 3.- The Commission shall have the mandate to:
b) Promote the right of victims to know the truth, through the promotion of procedures for the search of disappeared boys and girls;
c) Preserve and defend the right to an identity of persons that were victims of disappearances. 
El Salvador, Decree Creating the National Commission for Tracing Missing Children, 2010, Articles 1–3(b)–(c).
Ireland
Under Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, any “minor breach” of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, including violations of Article 26 of the Geneva Convention IV, and of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, including Article 32, is a punishable offence. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 4(1) and (4).
Norway
Norway’s Military Penal Code (1902), as amended in 1981, provides:
Anyone who contravenes or is accessory to the contravention of provisions relating to the protection of persons or property laid down in … the two additional protocols to [the 1949 Geneva] Conventions … is liable to imprisonment. 
Norway, Military Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 1981, § 108(b).
Colombia
In 2005, in the Constitutional Case No. C-575/05, the Plenary Chamber of Colombia’s Constitutional Court stated:
[T]he specific mention in … [Law 975 of 2005] of the victims and their relatives and the knowledge of the fate of the disappeared or kidnapped cannot be understood but as Congress’ intention to underscore that it shall be the relatives of the kidnapped and disappeared who become the primary recipients of information regarding the victims, without this implying any restriction whatsoever to other victims’ right to know the truth, or to society’s more general right to know the truth. 
Colombia, Constitutional Court, Constitutional Case No. C-575/05, Judgment of 25 July 2005, p. 234.
Colombia
In 2006, in the Constitutional Case No. C-370/06, the Plenary Chamber of Colombia’s Constitutional Court stated:
[T]he following principles are relevant for the … [present case]: the right to know is not subject to statutes of limitation and includes the opportunity to know the truth about the circumstances in which the violations were committed and, in case of death or disappearance, about the victim’s fate. 
Colombia, Constitutional Court, Constitutional Case No. C-370/06, Judgment of 18 May 2006, § 4.7.3.4.
The Court further stated:
Article 12 of the Constitution, which prohibits enforced disappearance, and the Inter-American Convention on Enforced Disappearance … stipulate inter alia the State’s obligation to seriously investigate the crime of enforced disappearance and to inform the victims and their families about the result of the investigations and the fate of the disappeared persons. This obligation must be immediately and officially complied with and does not require that the victims initiate or further the investigations. In addition, satisfactory compliance with this obligation requires the State to adopt all necessary measures to establish the whereabouts of disappeared persons as soon as possible since a delay of the investigation or of providing information to the interested persons constitutes a violation of the right of the disappeared persons’ relatives not to be subjected to cruel treatment. 
Colombia, Constitutional Court, Constitutional Case No. C-370/06, Judgment of 18 May 2006, § 6.2.2.2.4.
[footnote in original omitted]
Peru
In 2004, in the Genaro Villegas Namuche case, Peru’s Constitutional Court found:
Besides having a collective dimension, the right to know the truth has an individual dimension. The holders of this individual right are the victims, their relatives and persons close to them. The right to know the circumstances in which human rights violations were committed and, in the case of death or disappearance, to know the fate of the victims, shall not be subject to a statute of limitations. Persons directly or indirectly affected by a crime of this magnitude shall always have a right to know, amongst others, who committed the crime, when, where, how and why the victim was executed, and the location of his or her remains, even if much time has passed since the commission of the crime. 
Peru, Constitutional Court, Genaro Villegas Namuche case, Case No. 2488-2002-HC/TC, Judgment of 18 March 2004, § 9.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
In 2005, in its initial report to the Human Rights Committee, Bosnia and Herzegovina stated that its Law on Missing Persons (2004) includes provisions regarding the right of families to know the fate of their relatives:
The right of the families of the missing persons is to come to know the destiny of the missing members of the families and relatives, their residence/habitual residence or, if they are dead, circumstances, cause of death and place of burial, if such a place is known, and to get their remains. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Initial report to the Human Rights Committee, 24 November 2005, UN Doc. CCPR/C/BIH/1, § 46.
Djibouti
In 2011, in the History and Geography Textbook for 9th Grade, Djibouti’s Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training stated: “Families have the right to know the fate of their relatives.” 
Djibouti, Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training, History and Geography Textbook for 9th Grade, 2011, p. 226.
El Salvador
In 2010, in its written replies to the Human Rights Committee concerning its sixth periodic report, El Salvador stated:
60. During the period under examination, the State has not launched a comprehensive plan for the search of persons disappeared in the context of the internal armed conflict.
61. Despite the above, in the context of the current Government of El Salvador (which assumed its functions on 1 June 2009), the State … has recognized the right of the families of victims of enforced disappearance to know the truth on the whereabouts of their loved ones … in accordance with the standards of International Human Rights Law applicable to El Salvador. 
El Salvador, Written replies by the Government of El Salvador to the list of issues formulated by the Human Rights Committee in connection with its consideration of the sixth periodic report of El Salvador, UN Doc. CCPR/C/SLV/Q/6/Add.1, 21 September 2010, §§ 60–61.
On the issue of the search for children, El Salvador further stated:
[O]n 18 January 2010, Executive Decree No. 5, giving legal validity to the current “National Commission for Tracing Boys and Girls Missing during the internal armed conflict”, was published in the Official Journal. … This Commission, … which will be instituted in July 2010, will have within its functions … the promotion of the right of victims to know the truth by giving momentum to processes for the search of disappeared boys and girls. 
El Salvador, Written replies by the Government of El Salvador to the list of issues formulated by the Human Rights Committee in connection with its consideration of the sixth periodic report of El Salvador, UN Doc. CCPR/C/SLV/Q/6/Add.1, 21 September 2010, § 67.
Germany
At the CDDH in 1975, when it introduced an amendment to what became Article 32 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, Germany, on behalf of the sponsors (Germany, United Kingdom and United States), stated:
To mitigate the suffering of the families of those who disappeared in war by removing the uncertainty about their fate and to give them an opportunity to remember their dead in the place where their remains lay was a fundamental humanitarian principle. Such principle was already included in the … Oxford Manual of 1880 and in the Hague Regulations of 1899 and 1907 and in the Geneva Conventions of 1906, 1929 and 1949. 
Germany, Statement at the CDDH on behalf of the sponsors (Germany, United Kingdom and US), Official Records, Vol. XI, CDDH/II/SR.19, 13 February 1975, p. 185, § 70.
Germany
In an explanatory memorandum submitted to parliament in 1990 in the context of the ratification procedure of the Additional Protocols, the German Government stated, with reference to Articles 32–34 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, that all parties to the conflict were under a duty to search for missing persons, but that this principle did not include an individual and subjective right of the relatives of the person missing to gain information. 
Germany, Lower House of Parliament, Explanatory memorandum on the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions, BT-Drucksache 11/6770, 22 March 1990, p. 109.
Germany
In 2005, in its Seventh Human Rights Policy Report, Germany’s Federal Government reported to the Bundestag (Lower House of Parliament):
With the 1998 guidelines on the handling of crises related to internally displaced persons (“Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement”) by the then Representative of the UN Secretary-General on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, Francis Deng, the international community has a practice-oriented document, which summarizes existing standards on the protection of internally displaced persons and gives further recommendations. Although these guiding principles are not a binding instrument under international law, their acceptance by States, international organizations and NGOs has continued to grow over the past years, so that now they are virtually regarded as customary international law. 
Germany, Federal Government, Seventh Human Rights Policy Report, 17 June 2005, pp. 97–98.
Holy See
At the CDDH in 1975, the Holy See stated:
Its [i.e. an amendment’s] purpose was to remedy an omission, namely the absence of any reference to families, and to call the attention of all representatives – legal experts, politicians, doctors and soldiers – and their States to the suffering caused to families as a result of armed conflicts. It was not only separation, but anxiety, uncertainty and lack of news for months, or even years, in the case of both families and prisoners. It was not merely a question of feelings but one of respect for a fundamental right which had never been officially recognized and which was often overlooked. Indeed, in some countries the fate of certain civilians was deliberately kept secret. Unless specific mention was made of families, the bureaucrats dealing with the present provision would recognize only the technical, not the humanitarian, aspect of the problem. 
Holy See, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XI, CDDH/II/SR.35, 13 March 1975, p. 363, § 2.
Iraq
In 2011, Iraq’s Ministry of Human Rights issued a press release entitled “Statement: The [M]inistry of [H]uman [R]ights receives 38 remains from the Iranian side”, which stated:
The [M]inistry of [H]uman Rights had received on Tuesday Feb. 01, 2011 [at the] Shalamja border crossing the remains of 38 Iraqi martyrs that lost their lives during the Iraqi-Iranian war. … Five of the martyrs received were of known identity and [this] shall be duly published after testing and inspection, to be delivered to their families. The names of the known martyrs were published by the [M]inistry in the media … and were not received by their families yet. 
Iraq, Ministry of Human Rights, “Statement: The [M]inistry of [H]uman [R]ights receives 38 remains from the Iranian side”, Press Release, 2 February 2011.
Peru
In 2004, in its fourth periodic report to the Committee against Torture, Peru stated:
263. The judgment of the Constitutional Court in a case of forced disappearance of persons stands out in particular. In the Court’s ruling (Order No. 2488-2002-HC/TC) of 18 March 2004 regarding Mr. Genaro Villegas Namuche, a victim of forced disappearance, the right to truth was recognized as a new fundamental right. Thus, although it is not expressly recognized in Peru’s Political Constitution, the right to truth is fully protected, arising in the first place from the State’s obligation to defend fundamental rights and from the protection of the courts. Nevertheless, the Constitutional Court considered that, wherever reasonably possible and in special and unprecedented cases, implicit constitutional rights must be developed so as to allow better protection of and respect for human rights, since this will help strengthen democracy and the State, in accordance with the terms of the current Constitution.
264. In the considerations to which the judgment refers, the Court establishes the limits of application of the right to truth. According to the Court, the right is two-dimensional, being both collective and individual. …
265. Alongside … [the] collective dimension, the right to truth has an individual dimension, whose beneficiaries include victims, their families and their relatives. It resides in the knowledge of the circumstances in which human rights violations were committed and, in the event of decease or disappearance, of the fate which befell the victims as such, a knowledge that cannot be subject to time limitation. It must be remembered that the right of victims and their relatives is not limited to obtaining economic reparation, but also includes the need for the State to undertake an investigation into the facts, considering that a full knowledge of the circumstances of each case is also part of a form of moral reparation which the country and in the event the victims require for their enjoyment of democracy.
273. The forced disappearance of persons was a practice used systematically in Peru during the internal armed conflict which the country experienced during the decade of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s, as a consequence of the activities of terrorist groups and of the State’s response to subversion. 
Peru, Fourth periodic report to the Committee against Torture, 27 May 2005, UN Doc. CAT/C/SR.697, submitted 15 November 2004, §§ 263–265 and 273.
[emphasis in original; footnote in original omitted]
Republic of Korea
In a resolution adopted in December 1998, the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea urged cooperation between the authorities in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea in reuniting separated family members and proposed that the National Red Cross Societies in each region proceed with their work on family reunification. In cases where family reunification was not possible, the Assembly asked the authorities and Red Cross Societies “to start working on the confirmation of their fate”. 
Republic of Korea, National Assembly, Resolution Calling for the Confirmation of Life or Death and the Reunion of Members of Separated Families in South and North Korea, 198th Regular Session, 1 December 1998.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s ABC of International Humanitarian Law (2009) states:
Enforced disappearances and arbitrary detention
Enforced disappearances violate International humanitarian law and Human rights. No conflict and no national security considerations can justify such disappearances. The Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance was adopted in 2006 but has not yet come into force (status 2008). International humanitarian law nonetheless contains provisions on the enforced disappearance of persons following an armed conflict. In particular, their next of kin have the right to know what has happened to them. 
Switzerland, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, ABC of International Humanitarian Law, 2009, p. 19.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
At the CDDH in 1975, the representative of the United Kingdom stated that:
He did not consider, for instance, that it could be said that it was a fundamental right of families to know what had happened to their relatives, although it was a basic need. To go further than that would not be wise. 
United Kingdom, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XI, CDDH/II/SR.35, 13 March 1975, p. 371, § 49.
United States of America
At the CDDH in 1974, the United States referred to “the anguish of the families of persons of whom there was no word during conflicts” and stressed
the need to inform those families of the fate of their missing relatives as soon as possible, and pointed out that the draft followed logically from resolution V adopted on that subject by the XXIInd International Conference of the Red Cross at Teheran in 1973. 
United States, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XI, CDDH/II/SR.6, 14 March 1974, p. 41, § 4.
United States of America
At the CDDH in 1976, the United States stated:
The statement of the right of the families to know the fate of their relatives was of primary importance for the understanding of the Section under discussion. Paragraph 1 of article 20 bis did not refer to other sections of the draft Protocol or the Geneva Conventions. If the right of the families was not specifically mentioned, the section might be interpreted as referring to the right of Governments, for instance, to know what had happened to certain missing persons … As regards [a] query of the Yugoslav representative whether paragraph 1 of article 20 bis was necessary, he agreed that it was unusual to state the premises on which an article was based. The paragraph had been included in response to a strong feeling of many delegations and institutions that it was important to express in the Protocol the idea that families had a right to know what had happened to their relatives. United Nations General Assembly resolution 3220 (XXIX), which the Working Group had studied when drawing up the present text, stated in the last preambular that “the desire to know … is a basic human need”, but the next under consideration went even further by referring to the “right”. 
United States, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XII, CDDH/II/SR.76, 1 June 1976, p. 232, §§ 28–29.
United States of America
In 1987, the Deputy Legal Adviser of the US Department of State affirmed: “We support the principle that families have a right to know the fate of their relatives.” 
United States, Remarks of Michael J. Matheson, Deputy Legal Adviser, US Department of State, The Sixth Annual American Red Cross-Washington College of Law Conference on International Humanitarian Law: A Workshop on Customary International Law and the 1977 Protocols Additional to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, American University Journal of International Law and Policy, Vol. 2, 1987, p. 424.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1974, the UN General Assembly recognized that “one of the tragic results of armed conflicts is the lack of information on persons, civilians as well as combatants, who are missing or dead in armed conflict”. It also considered that:
The desire to know the fate of loved ones lost in armed conflicts is a basic human need which should be satisfied to the greatest extent possible, and that provision of information on those who are missing or who have died in armed conflicts should not be delayed merely because other issues remained pending. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 3220 (XXIX), 6 November 1974, preamble, voting record: 95-0-32-11.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on missing persons, the UN General Assembly reaffirmed “the right of families to know the fate of their relatives reported missing in connection with armed conflicts”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 59/189, 20 December 2004, § 3, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2006 on missing persons, the UN General Assembly reaffirmed “the right of families to know the fate of their relatives reported missing in connection with armed conflicts”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 61/155, 19 December 2006, § 3, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2002 on missing persons, the UN Commission on Human Rights reaffirmed “the right of families to know the fate of their relatives reported missing in connection with armed conflict”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2002/60, 25 April 2002, § 2, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on missing persons, the UN Commission on Human Rights reaffirmed “the right of families to know the fate of their relatives reported missing in connection with armed conflicts”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2004/50, 20 April 2004, § 3, voting record: 52-0-1.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the right to the truth, the UN Commission on Human Rights:
Recalling article 32 of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions, of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts, which recognizes the right of families to know the fate of their relatives,
Noting that the Human Rights Committee (see CCPR/C/79/Add.63 and CCPR/C/19/D/107/1981) and the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (see E/CN.4/1999/62) have recognized the right of the victims of gross violations of human rights and the right of their relatives to the truth about the events that have taken place, including the identification of the perpetrators of the facts that gave rise to such violations,
Stressing the imperative for society as a whole to recognize the right of victims of gross violations of human rights and serious violations of international humanitarian law, and their families, within the framework of each State’s domestic legal system, to know the truth regarding such violations, including the identity of the perpetrators and the causes, facts and circumstances in which such violations took place,
1. Recognizes the importance of respecting and ensuring the right to the truth so as to contribute to ending impunity and to promote and protect human rights. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2005/66, 20 April 2005, preamble and § 1, adopted without a vote.
UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1981 on the question of the human rights of persons subjected to any form of detention or imprisonment, the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights reiterated the right of families to know the fate of their relatives. 
UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights, Res. 15 (XXXIV), 10 September 1981, § 3.
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
In a recommendation adopted in 1979 on the missing political prisoners in Chile, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly stressed the right of families to know the fate of members who had disappeared. 
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Rec. 868, 5 June 1979, §§ 7–12.
It also adopted an order instructing the President of the Assembly to inform the Chilean Government of its deep concern about the fate of missing political prisoners, emphasizing the right of families to be informed of the fate of their missing members after arrest or detention by the security forces. 
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, 31st Ordinary Session, Order No. 381, 28 June 1979.
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1980, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly expressed its profound alarm at the disappearances of large numbers of people in Latin America. 
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Res. 722, 28 January 1980, §§ 1–3.
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
In a recommendation adopted in 1987 on national refugees and missing persons in Cyprus, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly emphasized that the families of missing persons have a right to know the truth, and called upon European Foreign Ministers to step up their efforts to find a positive solution, in agreement with both parties, to this humanitarian problem. 
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Rec. 1056, 5 May 1987, §§ 7–8.
In the report upon which the recommendation was based, the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Demography took the view that the Council of Europe should support the efforts of the Committee on Missing Persons to clarify the fate of the missing persons, noting that after so many years, the uncertainty was both shameful and unnecessarily cruel. 
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Working document: Report on national refugees and missing persons in Cyprus, Doc. 5716, 39th Ordinary Session, 6 April 1987, p. 21.
European Parliament
In a resolution adopted in 1983 on the problem of missing persons in Cyprus, the European Parliament confirmed the inalienable right of all families to know the fate of members of their family who have involuntarily disappeared due to the action of governments or their agents. 
European Parliament, Resolution on the problem of missing persons in Cyprus, 11 January 1983, §§ E and H(2).
Conference on the Reaffirmation and Development of International Humanitarian Law
At the CDDH in 1975, Cyprus, France, Greece and the Holy See submitted an amendment to what became Article 32 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I which aimed at adding the following sentence: “The activity of the Parties to the conflict and the international agencies shall be mainly prompted by the fundamental right of families to know what has happened to their relatives.” 
CDDH, Amendment submitted to the CDDH by Cyprus, France, Greece and Holy See, Official Records, Vol. III, CDDH/II/259 and Add.1, 11 March 1975, p. 102.
Conference on the Reaffirmation and Development of International Humanitarian Law
At the CDDH in 1976, Austria, Cyprus, France, Greece, the Holy See, Nicaragua and Spain submitted an amendment which aimed at introducing the following text in the 1977 Additional Protocol I:
In the implementation of the provisions of this Chapter [i.e. what became Section III of the 1977 Additional Protocol I], the activity of the High Contracting Parties and of the international agencies shall be mainly prompted by the right of families to know what has happened to their relatives, and by the desire to spare them moral suffering. 
CDDH, Amendment submitted to the CDDH by Austria, Cyprus, France, Greece, Holy See, Nicaragua and Spain, Official Records, Vol. III, CDDH/II/354 and Add. 1, 28 April 1976, p. 105.
International Conference of the Red Cross (1986)
The 25th International Conference of the Red Cross in 1986 recalled “the principle by which families have the right to know the fate of their members”.  
25th International Conference of the Red Cross, Geneva, 23–31 October 1986, Res. XIII, preamble.
International Conference for the Protection of War Victims
In the Final Declaration of the International Conference for the Protection of War Victims in 1993, the participants declared that they refused “to accept that … families of missing persons [are] denied information about the fate of their relatives”. 
International Conference for the Protection of War Victims, Geneva, 30 August–1 September 1993, Final Declaration, § I(1).
International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (1995)
The 26th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in 1995 stressed “the need and the right of families to obtain information on missing persons, including missing prisoners of war and those missing in action” and urged States and parties to armed conflict to “provide families with information on the fate of their missing relatives”. 
26th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, Geneva, 3–7 December 1995, Res. II, § D(k).
International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (1999)
The Plan of Action for the years 2000–2003 adopted in 1999 by the 27th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent proposed that all the parties to an armed conflict take effective measures to ensure that “every effort is made to clarify the fate of all persons unaccounted for and to inform the families accordingly”. 
27th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, Geneva, 31 October–6 November 1999, Res. I, Annex 2, Plan of Action for the years 2000–2003, Actions proposed for final goal 1.1, § 1(e).
Human Rights Committee
In 2006, in its concluding observations on the report submitted by the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo on the human rights situation in Kosovo since June 1999, the Human Rights Committee stated:
UNMIK [United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo], in cooperation with PISG [Provisional Institutions of Self-Government], should effectively investigate all outstanding cases of disappearances and abductions and bring perpetrators to justice. It should ensure that the relatives of disappeared and abducted persons have access to information about the fate of the victims, as well as to adequate compensation. 
Human Rights Committee, Concluding observations on the report submitted by the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo on the human rights situation in Kosovo since June 1999, UN Doc. CCPR/C/UNK/CO/1, 14 August 2006, § 13.
[emphasis in original]
Human Rights Committee
In its concluding observations on the initial report of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2006, the Human Rights Committee stated:
The Committee notes with concern that the fate and whereabouts of some 15,000 persons who went missing during the armed conflict (1992 to 1995) remain unresolved. It reminds the State party that the family members of missing persons have the right to be informed about the fate of their relatives, and that failure to investigate the cause and circumstances of death, as well as to provide information relating to the burial sites, of missing persons increases uncertainty and, therefore, suffering inflicted to family members and may amount to a violation of article 7 of the [1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights]. (arts. 2(3), 6 and 7)
The State party should take immediate and effective steps to investigate all unresolved cases of missing persons and ensure without delay that the Institute for Missing Persons becomes fully operational, in accordance with the Constitutional Court’s decision of 13 August 2005. It should ensure that the central database of missing persons is finalized and accurate, that the Fund for Support to Families of Missing Persons is secured and that payments to families commence as soon as possible. 
Human Rights Committee, Concluding observations on the initial report of Bosnia and Herzegovina, UN Doc. CCPR/C/BIH/CO/1, 22 November 2006, § 14.
[emphasis in original]
Human Rights Committee
In Quinteros v. Uruguay in 1983, the Human Rights Committee dealt with the case of Elena Quinteros who disappeared after having been arrested, held in a military detention place and subjected to torture. The Committee stated that it
understands the anguish and stress caused to the mother by the disappearance of her daughter and by the continuing uncertainty concerning her fate and whereabouts. The author has the right to know what has happened to her daughter. In these respects, she too is a victim of the violations of the [1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights] suffered by her daughter in particular, of article 7. 
Human Rights Committee, Quinteros v. Uruguay, Views, 21 July 1983, § 14.
African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights
In its decision in Amnesty International and Others v. Sudan in 1999, the African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights held:
Holding an individual without permitting him or her to have any contact with his or her family, and refusing to inform the family whether the individual is being held and his or her whereabouts is an inhuman treatment of both the detainee and the family concerned. 
African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights, Amnesty International and Others v. Sudan, Decision, 1–15 November 1999, § 54.
European Court of Human Rights
In its judgment in Kurt v. Turkey in 1998, the European Court of Human Rights found that the anguish suffered by a mother at knowing that her son had been detained by the security forces, yet finding a complete absence of official information as to his subsequent fate, constituted ill-treatment of sufficient severity to fall within the scope of Article 3 of the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment). 
European Court of Human Rights, Kurt v. Turkey, Judgment, 25 May 1998, §§ 130–134.
In its judgment in Timurtas v. Turkey in 2000, the Court confirmed this view. 
European Court of Human Rights, Timurtas v. Turkey, Judgment, 13 June 2000, § 98.
European Court of Human Rights
In its judgment in the Cyprus case in 2001, the European Court of Human Rights found that, in relation to Greek-Cypriot missing persons and their relatives, there had been a continuing violation of Article 3 of the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights in that the silence of the Turkish authorities in the face of the real concerns of the relatives attained a level of severity which could only be categorized as inhuman treatment. 
European Court of Human Rights, Cyprus case, Judgment, 10 May 2001, §§ 157–158.
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
On different occasions, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights recommended that the governments of Argentina, Chile and Guatemala provide detailed information to family members concerning the status of disappeared persons. 
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Cases of Disappeared Persons (Argentina), Resolution, 8 April 1983, § 2(a); Cases of Disappeared Persons (Chile), Resolution, 1 July 1983, § 2(a); Cases of Disappeared Persons (Guatemala), Resolution, 9 April 1986, § 4(a).
Inter-American Court of Human Rights
In its judgment in the Velásquez Rodríguez case in 1988, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights found:
The duty to investigate facts of this type continues as long as there is uncertainty about the fate of the person who has disappeared. Even in the hypothetical case that those individually responsible for crimes of this type cannot be legally punished under certain circumstances, the State is obligated to use the means at its disposal to inform the relatives of the fate of the victims and, if they have been killed, the location of their remains. 
Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Velásquez Rodríguez case, Judgment, 29 July 1988, § 181.
Inter-American Court of Human Rights
In 2000, in the Bámaca Velásquez case dealing with the disappearance and death of a member of the Unidad Revolucionaria Nacional Guatemalteca (URNG), the Inter-American Court of Human Rights stated that Guatemala had violated the right to humane treatment embodied in Article 5(1) and (2) of the American Convention on Human Rights to the detriment of, inter alia, the wife, father and sisters of the victim. It found that, while the victim had been held in detention without the family being informed, several judicial proceedings had been initiated, none of which had been effective, and that exhumation procedures had been ordered but obstructed by State agents. It stated that, at the time when the facts relating to the case took place, “Guatemala was convulsed by an internal conflict”, and that:
The Court has evaluated the circumstances of this case, particularly the continued obstruction of [the victims wife’s] efforts to learn the truth of the facts and, above all, the concealment of the corpse of [the victim] and the obstacles to the attempted exhumation procedures that various public authorities created, and also the official refusal to provide relevant information. Based on these circumstances, the Court considers that the suffering to which [the wife of the victim] was subjected clearly constitutes cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, violating Article 5(1) and 5(2) of the [American Convention on Human Rights]. The Court also considers that ignorance of the whereabouts of [the victim] caused his next of kin … profound anguish … and, therefore, considers that they, too, are victims of the violation of the said Article. 
Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Bámaca Velásquez case, Judgment, 25 November 2000, §§ 121 (b) and (m), 165–166 and 230(2).
Inter-American Court of Human Rights
In its judgment in the Bámaca Velásquez case (Reparations) in 2002, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights stated:
The right of every person to know the truth has been developed in international human rights law … and the possibility for the next of kin of the victim to know what happened, and, in this case, where the remains are located, constitutes a means of reparation and, as such, an expectation of the next of kin of the victim and the society as a whole the State has to meet. 
Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Bámaca Velásquez case (Reparations), Judgment, 22 February 2002, § 76.
ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that: “The law of war provisions relating to the dead are based on the right of families to know the fate of their relatives.” 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, § 127.
Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A)
Section 24(1) of the SPLM/A Penal and Disciplinary Laws requires that “every Battalion Commander shall maintain a register” of military personnel and the keeping of records pertaining to such personnel in the SPLM/A headquarters, on the premise that this will facilitate the search for any persons who later go missing. 
SPLM/A, Penal and Disciplinary Laws, 4 July 1984, § 24(1).
The Report on SPLM/A Practice notes:
The SPLM/A also used to announce names of Government of Sudan Officers and men and any personnel that they captured from the government when Radio SPLA was operational. The SPLM/A today still publishes in their bulletins names and other particulars of officers and men and personnel that fall into the hands of the SPLA during military operations. The SPLM/A claims to do this for the benefit of the families of those who go missing from the side of the government. 
Report on SPLM/A Practice, 1998, Chapter 5.2.