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Recommendations for the development of a training program for the deployment of forensic graduates to DVI operations

Tod, Ashleigh (2019) Recommendations for the development of a training program for the deployment of forensic graduates to DVI operations. Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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Over a period of 14 months following the 2004 Asian tsunami, 2,000 specialists from 31 countries were involved in the disaster victim identification (DVI) process in Thailand. When a disaster occurs, regardless of the size and nature of the event, investigators have a jurisdictional and humanitarian duty to positively identify every victim. With 194 current member countries, INTERPOL is the leading agency responsible for the international coordination of responses to mass disasters and provides the globally-accepted standard for DVI protocols and processes. The victim identification process is rigorous and requires an interdisciplinary approach. When the requirements to carry out a response extend beyond the capacity of local governments and agencies, additional resources must be sourced. As disasters are, by definition, unexpected, it can be difficult for agencies to commence and sustain a response, especially if the identification process expands across several months. The rapid mobilisation of qualified forensic teams may consequently result in the significant deskilling or diminishment of staff left to manage incoming and ongoing casework. Long term deployment of DVI personnel can have significant consequences on physical, emotional and psychological health. The strain on forensically-skilled human resources could be mitigated by the development of an ADVIC-certified training program that facilitates a maintainable register of deployable forensic graduate students for assistance in future DVI operations. This review summarizes the current body of knowledge on the various aspects of disaster victim identification, with a focus on those aspects and processes that are relevant to a forensic-based DVI training program designed for forensic graduates.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Supervisor(s): Chapman, Brendan
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