Legal Document

Law of Ukraine On the Legal Status of Missing Persons, 2018 (ICRC unofficial translation)

Publication Year
Europe and Central Asia
Thematic Area
The Search Process / Mechanisms / Law & Policies / Forensics / Families
Right to Know/Truth / Recovery of remains / Excavation / Exhumation / Psychosocial Support / Information Management (Archive/Database/Register) / Identification / Family Needs / Burial Site / Mass Grave
Open access

The Law of Ukraine On the Legal Status of Missing Persons (the Law) was adopted in order to implement Ukraine’s obligations under international law, including IHL, towards missing and dead. The Law introduces the status of missing person per se for the first time in the Ukrainian legislation. The Law declares the right of the missing person to have the circumstances of their disappearance investigated, as well as their whereabouts identified (Art.5). The rights of the relatives are explicitly mentioned in the Law. These include the right to know about the fate of their relatives and beloved ones, identification of their whereabouts, circumstances of the death, burial place, and the right to obtain the remains of their relatives (Art.6). The Law also introduces the right of families of missing persons to apply for social security (Art.6). The Commission on Missing Persons in Special Circumstances (the Commission), to be created under the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, has the purpose of coordinating the work of the authorities responsible for the search of the missing with the objective of clarifying the fate and whereabouts of a missing person (Art.10). The Register will store and centralize all information for the search of missing persons; it will be held by the Commission and administrated (technical/software support) by the Ministry of Justice (Art.12). The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted Decrees to implement the Law: On creation of the Commission on the Missing in Special Circumstances (No. 248 of 10.04.2019); On Register (No. 726 of 14.08.2019); On Searching Groups (No. 802 of 21.08.2019).