Inauguration of First of its Kind and State-of-the-Art International Center for “Humanitarian Forensics” | 20th June, 2018

World’s first International Centre for Humanitarian Forensics launched at Gujarat Forensic Sciences University, Gandhinagar

The launch of the World’s first International Centre for Humanitarian Forensics (ICHF) in Gandhinagar will be followed by an International Symposium on Humanitarian Forensics 20th to 22nd June, 2018. The ICHF is a joint venture of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Regional Delegation for India, Bhutan, Nepal and the Maldives and Gujarat Forensic Sciences University (GFSU).

Inaugurating the ICHF Shri M. S. Dagur, IAS, ACS-Home, Govt. of Gujarat said that Gujarat has always taken lead in implementing innovative ideas. The Establishment of the International Center for Humanitarian Forensics at Gujarat Forensic Sciences University is again another milestone in this direction. He congratulated GFSU for taking such innovative initiative for the first time in the world.

Speaking at the event, Jeremy England, Head of Regional Delegation, ICRC said that Dr. J. M. Vyas, Director General of GFSU has taken keen interest in visualizing the idea of establishment of International Center for Humanitarian Forensics at GFSU within a short span. He further said that there is a need for the management of dead bodies in a dignified and respectful manner.

Dr. J. M. Vyas, Director General, GFSU said that natural and manmade calamities are taking place at regular interval in the country and the world. Large numbers of people are becoming victims of such calamities, at that time the Humanitarian Forensics comes into picture. Dignified and proper management of the dead bodies as well as their identification in disasters is essential. This center will help for proper management of the dead persons in emergency. He further said that University will run different courses both post graduate and post graduate diploma courses in Humanitarian Forensics. The Use of science and technology will definitely help not only in proper management of dead bodies but also in prevention of such disasters. He also said that there is a huge scope for research & development in the Humanitarian Forensics.

MoU was signed between GFSU, Gandhinagar and ICRC for cooperation in the field of academic, undertaking local and international projects, teaching and training, research and development, efforts which will address contemporary issues and challenges in the use of Forensic Sciences for Humanitarian purpose.
Representatives from the medical field, civil society, academia, development and humanitarian sector as well as experts in disaster management will share expertise in the field of humanitarian forensics in the International Symposium on “Humanitarian Forensics”.

Over the next two days, key international forensic science experts will participate in an International Symposium on Humanitarian Forensics and discuss issues and best practices in the area of humanitarian forensics. Speakers from Australia, Switzerland, Ireland, Germany, Sri Lanka and India will be speaking at the symposium.

ICHF is the first definitive effort at institutionalizing humanitarian forensic action (HFA) within an existing university system. The Centre will conduct various academic and professional programmes, training, research and provide technical expertise to support operations (together with authorities and agencies concerned) in the field of humanitarian forensics.

It is envisioned to be the one-stop centre of excellence in Asia for global high quality and sustainable capacity building, research and innovative projects that will underpin operational responses for humanitarian forensic purposes in relevant contexts.

The ICHF will also posit sociocultural realities in the application of forensic sciences to the humanitarian sphere and through evidence based premises, clearly define acceptable practices in a given context with high premium on respect for the local population, jurisdictional authorities, and appropriate ethical considerations.
On this occasion, Ambassadors of Zimbabwe, Tunisia, Afghanistan, Mr. Oran, Head of Forensic, ICRC, Geneva (Switzerland) as well as eminent personalities of the world were present.