Description

The Humanitarian and Human Rights Resource Center (HHRRC) seeks to utilize the assets of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) to promote the application of contemporary forensic science and forensic medicine principles to global humanitarian and/or human rights projects requiring special assistance. The Center is funded in part through the National Institute of Justice’s FTCoE.

HHRRC projects are those selected for support by the International Advisory Council of the HHRRC and can include research applied to humanitarian and human rights projects, training materials and equipment, and advising or subject matter expertise. The HHRRC also aims to provide support and encouragement to AAFS members to increase their engagement in applying contemporary forensic science to global humanitarian matters.

In addition to direct support for forensic studies, the HHRRC provides access to publications and educational materials to disseminate knowledge on the issues and application of contemporary forensic science and forensic medical principles. The HHRRC assists projects by making laboratory and analysis equipment available. To strengthen the available pool of advisors, the HHRRC established a database of volunteers willing to assist and make a difference in global humanitarian issues and possible violations of human rights.

In the following video message, HHRRC Chair Dr. Dawnie Steadman and the FTCoE express our gratitude for everything Dr. Douglas Ubelaker did to establish and build the Center in his tenure as Chair from 2015 until 2020. Additionally, Dr. Steadman highlights the importance of the HHRRC and the many Center activities that support humanitarian and human rights efforts across the globe.

Below are archived resources highlighting HHRRC funded projects.


2020 AAFS Humanitarian and Human Rights Resource Center Poster & Networking Session

The inaugural Humanitarian and Human Rights Resource Center Poster and Networking Session was hosted on February 18th at the 2020 AAFS Annual Scientific Meeting in Anaheim, CA. This Poster Session was an open meeting where over 200 attendees met HHRRC researchers and mentors in the field to learn about the application of forensic science to investigate humanitarian and human rights injustices.

Click here to view the virtual poster session showcasing materials and posters from that event.

Listen to Our Podcast

 Just So You Know: AAFS Humanitarian and Human Rights Resource Center

 Just So You Know: The HHRRC’s Impact

Watch our Archived Webinars

2018 Series

Building Forensic Capacity Post-Conflict: Lessons from Uganda

Stable Isotope Analysis in a Humanitarian Context 

Isotopes Aiding Identification of Undocumented Border Crosser Human Remains

2017 Series

A Review of Forensic Anthropology in Mexico

Stable Isotope Forensics & Unknown Persons

Analysis & Conservation of Remains in Cambodia

Nerve Agent Uptake and Detection in Human Bone

2017 Series Summary Report

The FTCoE in collaboration with HHRRC hosted a four-part webinar series HHRRC projects addressing forensic applications and recent advanced of global humanitarian and human rights projects requiring HHRRC assistance. This in-brief report highlights the content of the webinar series and the reception of the series by the forensic science community.

Click Here to Read the Full Report 

Description

Drowning is one of the leading causes of “accidental death” in the United States, but it is possible that many of these deaths are, in fact, incidents of foul play. It is important that law enforcement personnel learn how to properly investigate an underwater scene and preserve the evidence.

This course, hosted by the Longmont Department of Public Safety and Team Lifeguard Systems on October 4-6, 2017, detailed the procedures and tactics for dealing with aquatic death and drowning investigations. The FTCoE funded two practitioners to attend this training to better understand the proper procedures to use during an aquatic death investigation. Read the FTCoE’s in-brief, published February 2018, to learn more about this event.

 

Objectives

During this class, attendees learned about topics including, but not limited to:

– Proper documentation of aquatic death scenes
– Preservation of possible water crime scenes
– Bathtub, bucket, toilet, pool, and openwater incidents
– Indications of homicides by drowning
– Autoerotic aquatic asphyxia and aquatic sexual sadism