8th NATIONAL EXPERT CONFERENCE OF THE ITAKA FOUNDATION – Legal and institutional solutions in searching for missing people in Poland and abroad.

On 20th Nov 2019, the 8th National Expert Conference of the ITAKA Foundation Legal and institutional solutions in searching for missing people in Poland and abroad took place in Warsaw.

The conference was addressed at experts dealing with disappearances in Poland and abroad. It was participated by representatives of authorities and uniformed services, ambassadors and diplomats, members of NGOs a rescue teams. The speeches were set in an international context and concerned legal and institutional solutions used in search for missing persons.

The starting point was a presentation of the project Development of a system of legal, institutional and IT solutions to improve search and identification of missing people and to support their beloved ones under the GOSPOSTRATEG research and development programme, delivered by the President of the ITAKA Foundation, Alicja Tomaszewska.

In the following part of the conference human trafficking was discussed by Staff Sergeant Agnieszka Sambor from the Radom Regional Police Headquarters and the President of the La Strada Foundation, Irena Dawid-Olczyk.

After a break aspects of international searches were examined. The session was opened by Dmytro Horban from the Embassy of Ukraine with a speech on missing Ukrainian citizens in Poland. The speech was followed by two presentations by policewomen from the International Police Cooperation Bureau of the National Police Headquarters – Deputy Superintendent Aneta Wilewska and Junior Inspector Jolanta Stalmach-Chylińska.

Agnieszka Swaczyna, layer, expert-practitioner, talked about the Hague Convention in the context of parental child abductions. Iwona Schab,  Ph.D., from the Warsaw School of Economics, presented a statistical analysis of General Police Headquarters’ data from 2000-2017. The presentation focused on behavioural patterns of disappearances in Poland. The last presentation of the day was made by Martyna Lesica from the Polish Consulate in London, who talked about disappearances of Polish citizens in the UK.

Conference participants could learn specific examples and practical problems faced by those involved in search for missing people. In addition, they were also provided with detailed statistical and theoretical summaries to structure their knowledge of the phenomenon.

During a break, on behalf of the Foundation, President Alicja Tomaszewska signed cooperation agreements with the Search and Rescue Group of the Goszcz Voluntary Fire Service and the Pabianice Emergency Rescue Unit.

The conference was financed by the National Centre for Research and Development within the framework of the Strategic Programme for Scientific Research and Development ‘Social and economic development of Poland in globalizing markets’ – GOSPOSTRATEG.

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