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Forensic science and humanitarian action

Haiti. Following the 2010 earthquake, ICRC forensic specialists and mortuary staff transfer the bodies of four inmates of Port-au-Prince Prison to the hospital mortuary.

When people die during wars or disasters, or while migrating, their bodies must be handled respectfully and with dignity; and the remains of unknown individuals must be searched for, recovered and identified. Humanitarian work has come to include these tasks, for which forensic science offers matchless tools and expertise.

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Customary Law rules

Publications More publications

  • Forensic identification of human remains

    This brochure outlines the forensic process of identifying human remains, with an emphasis on the scientific matching of data.

  • The ante-mortem/post-mortem database

    The proper management of forensic data is crucial for identifying human remains and resolving cases of disappearance. This brochure describes the AMPM Database, an electronic tool that facilitates the identification of remains by supporting the archiving, standardization, reporting, searching, and analysis of forensic data.