OMPF was created in June 2002, with the mandate of determining the fate of persons who disappeared as a result of the conflict and its aftermath. This involves the complex processes of site location, excavation, exhumation, autopsy and identification. This lead to the return of mortal remains to affected families for dignified re-burial.
Total number of missing in 2002 5602 Total missing as of August 2008 1938
OMPF has also been assigned the equally important responsibility of establishing a Medical Examiner’s Office (MEO), to provide medico-legal examinations to Kosovo’s citizens, meeting European standards, and build local institutional capacity to carry out this work.
Since 2006, the OMPF is under the Ministry of Justice. OMPF has a dual mandate:
1) To clarify the fate of missing persons:
• Assess and exhume suspected graves
• Perform autopsies of unidentified remains in order to determine cause of death whenever possible and complete identification in a professional manner, using DNA analysis whenever necessary
• Keep the families of the missing persons informed on the progress and return the identified remains to their families in a timely and respectful manner
• Keep up-to-date records and statistics on missing persons in Kosovo
2) To provide a medico-legal system in Kosovo of European standards, including but not exclusively limited to the following services:
• Medical examinations of victims of sexual/physical offences
• Autopsies in cases of suspected non-natural death
• Cases of medical malpractice
• Toxicological analysis
• Histo-pathological analysis
• Medico-legal analysis of crime scenes
In 2005 OMPF created the memory project - a psychosocial and transitional justice initiative to help the families of the missing talk about their loss and experiences. Employing theatre and video technology the memory project has produced two publications and a video archive of families being interviewed.
Cooperation with other Ministries and organisations:
The Police War Crime Unit (UNMIK Police and KPS) focuses on the criminal investigation of cases of missing persons and the circumstances behind their disappearance. The Police’s responsibilities include locating illicit graves, identifying the perpetrator and collecting evidence related to the crime itself. OMPF provides the forensic services to the War Crime Unit.
OMPF is working in close cooperation and coordination with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), the PISG Governmental Commission on Missing Persons, and family associations. The Office is also providing forensic services to the Working Group on Missing Persons chaired by the ICRC
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