On 27th May 2021, in the framework of the Missing Persons grant of the National Centre for Research and Development, GOSPOSTRATEG, ‘Social and economic development of Poland in globalizing markets’, a national scientific conference Criminal, criminological and victimological aspects of the phenomenon of disappearances was held.
The event was organised by the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn in cooperation with the University of Warsaw and the ITAKA Foundation. The conference was held under the honorary patronage of: H.M. Rector of the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, the Stanisław Batawia Polish Society of Criminology and the Chief of Provincial Police in Olsztyn.
The Scientific Committee of the conference included representatives of the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn (prof. Jarosław Dobkowski – Dean of the Faculty of Law and Administration, prof. Wiesław Pływaczewski – Head of Department of Criminology and Forensic Science and prof. Ireneusz Sołtyszewski – Missing Persons grant manager), University in Białystok (prof. Ewa Guzik-Makaruk – Deputy Director of the International Centre of Criminological Research and Expertise), Institute of Legal Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences (prof. Irena Rzeplińska – President of the Stanisław Batawia Polish Society of Criminology), University of Warsaw (prof. Ewa Gruza – Chair of Forensic Science) and Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia (prof. Libor Klimek – Director of the Research Centre for Criminology and Forensic Science). The smooth running of the conference was supervised by the Organising Committee chaired by Dr Joanna Narodowska (the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn).
The conference was attended by representatives of the academic community from the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn (prof. Wiesław Pływaczewski, prof. Denis Solodov, prof. Aneta Łyżwa, Joanna Narodowska, Ph.D., Maciej Duda, Ph.D., and Andrzej Gawliński, Ph.D.), University of Warsaw (prof. Ewa Gruza), University of Wrocław (Aneta Urbaniak, M.A.), University in Białystok (prof. Ewa Guzik-Makaruk, Diana Dajnowicz-Piesiecka, Ph.D., Emilia Truskolaska, Ph.D., Mateusz Gąsowski, M.A., and Aleksandra Stachelska, M.A.), Białystok University of Technology (Magdalena Ickiewicz-Sawicka, Ph.D.) and State University of Applied Sciences in Elbląg (Ewa Pachura, Ph.D.) as well as practitioners representing the ITAKA Foundation (Paulina Sidor, M.A.) and Municipal Police in Olsztyn (Izabela Sękowska, Ph.D., and Piotr Wojnicz, Ph.D.).
Despite the fact that the conference was formally a national one, foreign guests also presented their papers. The discussion was enriched by: prof. Chris Eskridge (American Society of Criminology, University of Nebraska, USA), Joanna Melz, Ph.D. (European University Viadrina, Germany), Maryana Shupyana, Ph.D. (Ivan Franko University in Lviv, Ukraine) and Ana Mikulka, M.A. (Ministry for Croatian Veterans, University of Zagreb, Croatia).
Due to pandemic constraints, this meeting was held online via the MS Teams platform. The event attracted big audience. At its peak, over 300 participants listened to the presentations. Courtesy of Dagmara Woźniakowska-Fajst, Ph.D., the proceedings were also rebroadcast on other platforms for students of the Faculty of Law and Administration of the University of Warsaw and members of the Polish Society of Criminology.
The conference was divided into three thematic panels (moderated by prof. Wiesław Pływaczewski, Maciej Duda, Ph.D. and Joanna Narodowska, Ph.D.). The speakers presented deep interdisciplinary analysis of disappearances from the point of view of criminal law, criminology, victimology, suicidology, forensic science, psychology or political science. Lively discussions following each panel indicated that the topic was of great interest to representatives of the academic community and the opinions expressed in the discussion outlined areas in which further scientific analyses should be carried out.