VACANCY: Forensic Specialist

17 November 2020

Forensic Specialist

The Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is a humanitarian institution that provides protection and assistance to people affected by armed conflict and other situations of violence. Our institution employs more than 20,000 staff and is present in 80 countries.

Description of the role

The incumbent will perform the following activities within the department:

  • Ensure the forensic assessment of specific contexts by maintaining an overview of the forensic programs and mass fatality incidents and trends in Southern Africa.

  • Monitor emerging humanitarian and environmental challenges as related to forensics and medicolegal processes. Outline potential forensic programs to address these challenges, including required resources for responsible engagement.

  • Serve as the delegations’ primary forensic internal focal point on policy-level issues related to technical and non-technical practice associated with the management of the dead and forensics in Southern African contexts by all concerned stakeholders (e.g. legal framework on the management of the dead, data management related to the dead).

  • Take the lead, in defining long-term, mid-term and short-term objectives in relation to forensic programs and ambitions and identify the modes of action that are most appropriate to achieve these sets of objectives.

  • Ensure to set priorities and establish plans of action for forensic programs, ensuring a dynamic transversal interaction with other relevant departments as well as Sub-Delegations and Offices.

  • Where applicable, supervise, coach and manage Forensic Unit colleagues in the delegations covered or a team and make proposals for institutional or technical courses, training and mentoring.

  • Develop acceptance in communities and build partnerships with policy makers, institutions and practitioners. 

  • Develop and/or maintain, as well as represent the ICRC, with a network of interlocutors on matters related to forensics (e.g. training, capacity building, promotion of forensic best practice, external meetings or workshops, etc.).

  • Maintain the existing relationships with institutions and agencies identified in the stakeholder mapping of the country and continue to develop a network of State and Non-State actors that can work cooperatively to improve medicolegal and forensic capacity in Southern Africa.

  • Engage with decision and policy makers towards developing a collaborative and coordinated plan to improve management of the dead response in Southern Africa.

  • Provide strategic guidance, planning, management expertise and technical knowledge on the implementation of the Missing and Deceased Migrants Project in South Africa, Zimbabwe and the SADC region. Assists in setting up an authorities-led mechanism aimed at facilitating the exchange of information on missing migrants across borders.

  • Provide innovative ideas, solutions and research in the forensic field and participate in ongoing projects (i.e. Isotope research, Chatbot development, audio-visual aids and the Scarification project).


Profile – Minimum required qualification & experience:

  • Advanced university degree (master’s degree or equivalent degree) in forensic sciences.
  • A minimum of 8 years of progressively responsible experience in Forensics and medicolegal investigations. Proven experience working in a multi-disciplinary human identification environment and death investigation is preferred.

  • Fluent spoken and written English required. Any additional language of interest to the ICRC is an asset, including Portuguese.

  • Computer skills.

We are looking for someone who is methodical, precise, responsible, rigorous, organized, with a good sense of teamwork, initiative and respect for ICRC values.


  • The position will require extensive travel in the region, notably conducting numerous missions.


We offer interesting, rewarding work in humanitarian and international environment.

Please submit your application: CV, cover letter, copies of diplomas / certificates by electronic mail with the mention in the subject “Application to the position of Forensic Specialist” to

Only applications with all required documentation will be considered.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. The last date for receiving applications is 26 November 2020. Start Date: 01 January 2021 or as soon as possible.