The issue of missing persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina continues to burden their families and affect the reconciliation process. Significant progress has been made in locating and identifying missing persons. However, thousands of families remain without information about their beloved relatives.
According to the Missing Persons Institute of Bosnia and Herzegovina (MPI), human remains of at least 22,000 persons have been exhumed, of which around 19,000 persons have been identified (including those identified by the DNA matching procedure run by the International Commission on Missing Persons /ICMP). Almost 600 persons reported missing to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have been located alive. According to the current data of the ICRC, based solely on the tracing requests opened by the families until December 6, 2011, almost 9,500 persons are still unaccounted for in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Their names are listed hereafter.
The authorities and institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina have the prime responsibility to clarify the fate of missing persons and to support their families. Co-founded by the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the ICMP, the MPI was established based on the Law on Missing Persons of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a national institution tasked to pursue all cases of missing persons from the past conflict, regardless of their ethnicity, religious affiliation or gender. Support of BiH authorities at all levels to the MPI in implementing its mission is crucial. The MPI has established the Central Records on Missing Persons (CEN) to provide accurate figures on missing persons by crosschecking data received from various national and international sources and verifying the status of each missing person.
The ICRC carries out its activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina in accordance with its mandate and as stipulated in the annex seven of the Dayton Peace Agreement related to the missing persons. In its efforts to address the remaining challenges of the missing issue, the ICRC focuses its work on empowering the MPI and Red Cross Society of BiH (RCSBiH), as well as supporting the families of missing persons to exercise their "right to know".
Under the ICRC auspices, the RCSBiH and the MPI signed an agreement on their cooperation in the tracing process in BiH. In this light, in December 2011, the ICRC handed over to the RCSBiH its responsibility for the future collection of requests for tracing missing persons. All requests for tracing missing persons in BiH initiated by their families as of December 6, 2011 onwards are processed by the RCSBiH, and forwarded to the MPI for further recording and tracing procedure. Within its efforts to provide efficient support to the families of missing persons, the RCSBiH Tracing Service liaises with the other National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies within the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement Family Links network.
If you have a close relative unaccounted for in connection with the conflict on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina (30.04.1991 – 14.02.1996
), and want to initiate a request for tracing, please contact the nearest office of the National Society in the country in which you reside.
For missing persons reported to the ICRC before December 6, 2011, the ICRC remains to be responsible for the follow up and management of their data.
The right to know the fate of a missing relative is a fundamental concern of international humanitarian law and human rights law and it must be upheld and respected.
Please, help us to clarify the fate of people who are unaccounted for.
The ICRC is publishing the names of the missing in the hope of gathering further information from the public.
Should you have information that can clarify the fate of a missing person, please click on "Contact ICRC". Your possible wish for confidentiality will be respected.