Strengthening the role of forensic anthropology in personal identification: Position statement by the Board of the Forensic Anthropology Society of Europe (FASE)

Hans H. de Boer, Zuzana Obertová, Eugenia Cunha, Pascal Adalian, Eric Baccino, Tony Fracasso, Elena Kranioti, Philippe Lefévre, Niels Lynnerup, Anja Petaros, Ann Ross, Maryna Steyn, Cristina Cattaneo

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7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this position statement, the Board members of the Forensic Anthropology Society of Europe (FASE) argue that forensic anthropology methods can be used as means of personal identification, particularly in situations with limited availability of traditional identification methods (i.e. dactyloscopy, odontology, and molecular genetic analysis). This statement has been issued taking into account the international migration crises related to thousands of deaths worldwide, in which the utility of these traditional means of identification has been sporadic to non-existent. The statement is however not limited to deaths related to the migration crises, as similar problems may occur in fatalities en masse such as in natural disasters and armed conflicts, and on a smaller scale in cases of homeless or otherwise socioeconomically disadvantaged persons. The number of reports on personal identification based on sound anthropological methodology is increasing in the scientific literature. However, more research is needed to develop evidence-based standard operating procedures and statistical frameworks. It remains essential to raise awareness among forensic practitioners, law enforcement, and judiciary professionals on the utility of forensic anthropology in cases where it can provide sufficient information for identification.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110456
JournalForensic Science International
Volume315
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

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