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OMP begins process to ‘validate’ missing persons status

The Office of Missing Persons (OMP) have started the process of issuing Interim Reports to the families of the disappeared which will allow them to obtain a Certificate of Absence (CoA), to 'validate' the status of a person reported missing.

In a press release, the OMP stated that:

An Interim Report to obtain a CoA can be issued in respect of persons who are missing or disappeared (1) as a result of the conflict which took place in the North and East or members of the armed forces or the police who have been reported missing in action, (2) due to political unrest, civil disturbances, or (3) enforced disappearances.
The CoA validates the status of a person reported missing, and can be used by relatives to apply for benefits under any social or welfare scheme, the temporary management of assets and property belonging to the mission person, and temporary guardianship of children of the missing person under the supervision of the District Court, and to represent the missing person before authorities and the courts.

Relatives who wish to obtain an Interim Report must submit an application form to the OMP alongside supporting documents. This will be followed by an inquiry and applicants will be subject to an oral testimony before an Interim Report is issued.

The OMP was established by the previous government to investigate cases of missing and disappeared persons but families of the disappeared remain deeply sceptical of the mechanism as it lacks independence and has failed to take their views into consideration.

See the full press release below: