Sri Lanka's Parliament has unanimously approved a bill to set up an office to help account for thousands of people reported missing during the country's armed uprisings and clarify the circumstances under which they disappeared.

The Office on Missing Persons will make recommendations to protect the rights and interests of missing people and their relatives and identify redress.

The government says it has received about 65,000 reports of missing persons since 1994. They largely occurred during a Marxist uprising in 1987-1989 and the last 15 years of a 26-year civil war with ethnic Tamil rebels.

The government has promised the U.N. Human Rights Council that it will investigate allegations of serious abuses during the civil war.