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Report No. 271

B. Ethical and Practical Issues relating to DVI:

3.5 A number of ethical and sensitive issues arise during the identification of human remains in the particular case of DVI. One major factor that undermines cremation or exhumation and identification efforts is poor communication with the relatives of the missing. Understanding the survivor population is important, yet difficult because the effects of mass casualties on a population are varied and complex as such instances cause people to lose not only their family members and relatives, but also their means of income. It can deprive children of their parents as well as their roots. Survivors suffer from not only the deaths of their family members, but also a series of other traumas8.

3.6 A range of legitimate purposes prevail for the exploration of human remains in case of DVI. The issues and questions raised hereinabove are specifically related to searching for the purpose of identifying missing persons. The main guiding principle is to assist the families of the missing.

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