On 17th -18th November an international conference Legal and social aspects of search for missing people was held. The event was organised by the ITAKA Foundation, University of Warsaw and University of Warmia and Mazury. The conference was held under the honorary patronage of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration.
The international conference Legal and social aspects of search for missing people summarised a research carried out under the GOSPOSTRATEG project and presented disappearances from the perspective of other countries (e.g. Spain or the United Kingdom).
The conference was held on-line and was interpreted into English.
It comprised three sessions:
- Legal and institutional aspects of search for missing persons
- Methods and procedures of search and identification of unknown persons and corpses
- Search for missing persons – cooperation between state agencies and NGOs
During the conference, results of studies conducted within the GOSPOSTRATEG project – a strategic research and development programme Social and economic development of Poland in globalizing markets of the National Centre for Research and Development – were presented.
Lectures associated with the GOSPOSTRATEG project were made, among others, by Prof Ewa Gruza, who proposed a model of searching for missing persons in Poland and Prof Ireneusz Sołtyszewski, who focused on modern methods to identify unknown persons and corpses.
Study results were also discussed by Maciej Duda, Ph.D. (Criminological and victimological perspective on disappearances) and Piotr Lewulis, Ph.D. (Models of cooperation between states and NGOs in the search for missing persons in the light of legal and comparative studies).
The conference was also attended by experienced foreign lecturers active in the field of disappearances. Prof Javier Guardiola Garcia (University of Valencia) talked about the approach to disappearances in Spain. Craig Collie, Ph.D., from the University of Portsmouth, analysed legal and institutional aspects of search for missing persons.
The participants had an opportunity to hear about the practical aspects of search for missing persons. Lectures were given by superint. Mirosław Kaczmarek from the Missing Persons Search Centre of the Polish Police and Ewa Pachura, Ph.D., who has worked in police for many years.
The cooperation of state agencies with NGOs was discussed by representatives of European NGOs such as: International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, International Commission of Missing Persons, Missing Children Europe and Help Centre Belgium.
GOSPOSTRATEG is a strategic research and development programme of the National Centre for Research and Development ‘Social and economic development of Poland in globalizing markets’. In the framework of the programme, the Itaka Foundation Centre for Missing People, together with the University of Warsaw and the University of Warmia and Mazury, formed a consortium to carry out a 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. It is the aim of the project to examine legal solutions applicable in search of missing people and analyse the situation of missing persons’ relatives.