Ukraine crisis: Best practices in dead body recovery discussed in Lugansk

23 January 2016

Kiev / Lugansk (ICRC) – Today the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) held a round-table discussion in the town of Lugansk on ways of identifying the dead and handling their bodies respectfully.

"When people die in armed conflicts, their bodies must be located, recovered and identified," said Maria Dolores Morcillo Mendez, an ICRC forensic expert. "Identification is the last step in this complex process. It is important because not only does it let the families discover the fate of their loved ones, it often also helps them to deal with their grief."

The round-table brought together experts and investigators from local organizations involved in finding, collecting, examining and identifying bodies. The participants discussed how they carry out their work and the particular challenges they face. There was also an in-depth technical discussion on the proper treatment of the dead.

The event in Lugansk concludes a series of round-table discussions held in Kiev, Dnepropetrovsk and Donetsk. Over one thousand people are still missing as a result of the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, and the ICRC is helping their relatives to trace them. The ICRC is also providing training and technical assistance on both sides of the front line to forensic institutions and non-governmental organizations involved in searching for, recovering and identifying mortal remains.

For further information, please contact:
Matthias Weinreich, ICRC Kiev, tel: +380 67 509 42 06
Sanela Bajrambasic, ICRC Donetsk, tel: +38 050 315 04 60