The world's first of its kind and state-of-the-art International Centre for ‘Humanitarian Forensics’ (ICHF) was launched at the Gujarat Forensic Sciences University in Gandhinagar, Gujarat on June 20, 2018.
The centre is a joint venture of the regional delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross in India, Bhutan, Nepal and the Maldives and also Gujarat Forensic Science University.
Objective: The main aim of the Centre would be to provide service to the nation and to the entire world when the need arises.
The joint venture has been established, as forensics plays an important role in humanitarian action but access to practitioners is a great challenge.
The Centre of excellence would promote best practices in forensics.
• The centre will aid humanitarian efforts during emergencies and natural disasters such as the work carried out by Red Cross during the Gujarat Earthquake.
• It would not only assist in dignified and proper management of the dead bodies during disasters or emergencies but also in their identification.
• The joint project represents what humanitarian work will look like in future. It will combine local and international expertise to build capacities before tragedies hit people.
• 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 Gujarat Forensic Sciences University will run different courses both post graduate and post graduate diploma courses in Humanitarian Forensics.
Besides, a MoU was also signed between GFSU, Gandhinagar and ICRC for cooperation in the field of academic, undertaking local and international projects, teaching and training, research and development and efforts that will address contemporary issues and challenges in the use of Forensic Sciences for Humanitarian purpose.
The launch of the Centre was followed by an International Symposium on Humanitarian Forensics. The symposium would witness participation from international experts from various sectors including medical, civil society, academia, disaster management, development and humanitarian sector who will discuss issues in the area of humanitarian forensics over the next two days. Speakers from India, Ireland, Germany and Sri Lanka will also be participating at the symposium.
Natural and manmade calamities are taking place at regular intervals in the country and world over and a large number of people are becoming victims of such calamities. At such a time, the role of Humanitarian Forensics becomes essential and significant.