The Bougainville government has adopted a new policy with the help of the International Committee of the Red Cross to locate individuals, killed during ten years of civil war in the Papua New Guinea province.
The new approach could see the possible exhumation of remains and their return to their families for traditional burial as a way of bringing closure to the conflict.
A Bougainville-based delegate of the ICRC, Tobias Koehler, says the process is a big step forward.
"Because it acknowledges suffering by the families of missing persons related to the crisis and we are very much in favour of this policy because it clearly acknowledges a humanitarian approach. Accountability and justice should not stand in the way of families finding answers about what happened to their loved ones."
The Bougainville Civil War has been described as the largest conflict in Oceania since the end of the Second World War, with about 15,000 to 20,000 people killed.