ICMP Online Inquiry Center

The OIC is designed to enable users to store and retrieve information with confidence and security.

In the first instance, the OIC makes it possible to collect and store basic biographical information about a person who has gone missing – name, date and place of birth, physical description, names of family members, and circumstances (where these are known) when the person was last seen, along with any other information that may appear relevant to the case. Depending on the degree of access which the person reporting this information is prepared to allow, the information may be accessed by individuals or agencies that are tasked with accounting for missing persons, such as government authorities, police, or rescue services.

In areas where ICMP is operating a program in cooperation with the appropriate authorities, biographical information that has been recorded in the OIC may be accessed and reviewed as part of a systematic effort to account for missing persons. Where investigators encounter witness testimony related to the sinking of a migrant dinghy in the Aegean, for example, they may cross check this with the circumstances when individuals whose details are recorded in the OIC were last seen, in this way aggregating information so as to create a picture that may indicate whether a missing person is likely to be alive or dead. Stored information will only be used in this way with the express permission of those who originally provided the information to the OIC.

This biographical information may be instrumental in locating and identifying individuals who are missing but are still alive. It may also be instrumental in locating and identifying individuals who have died.

In addition to storing biographical information, the OIC enables users to track the status of efforts to identify individuals using DNA matching techniques, in cases related to a country or region where ICMP has an agreement with the authorities to operate or participate in a DNA identification program.

Genetic profiles are created by extracting and analyzing DNA. DNA can be extracted from blood or buccal samples given by family members of the missing and also from tissue samples, such as bone, of human remains. When DNA profiles from family samples match DNA profiles from human remains it becomes possible to establish the identity of the missing person with an exceptionally high degree of certainty.

ICMP only operates DNA matching programs in some parts of the world. To date, places where it has operated such programs include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iraq, Libya, and the Philippines. Information on where ICMP is currently operating a DNA matching program or helping the relevant local agencies to operate such a program may be found in the Where We Work section of this website.

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Personal data will be treated as confidential and used only for purposes for which it was provided. For further information, please contact ICMP or see ICMP's data protection policy.