Experts say the ranks of missing people are swelling around the world — from Muslim men murdered and dumped into mass graves nearly two decades ago in Bosnia to villagers and tourists washed away by the 2004 tsunami to victims of Mexico's drug wars to asylum seekers who drown as they flee conflicts in rickety boats.

Academics and others meeting in The Hague to discuss the plight of missing people called Friday for more to be done to tackle the problem, saying that would contribute to more stable societies around the world.

Professor Jeremy Sarkin, a member of the U.N. Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, says peace will be threatened in nations emerging from armed conflict "if issues relating to the missing continue to exist."