On 1–2 March 2023 the International committee of the Red Cross delegation in Tehran organized a workshop on the dignified management of the dead in humanitarian emergencies in the higher education institute for applied science of Helal Iran of the IRCS with the participation of 31 operational managers from the National Disaster Management Organization (NDMO) and the Iranian Red Crescent (IRCS), among other key actors in the emergency response in the country such as the Municipality and the Fire workers organization.
The training was part of the forensic capacity building activities undertaken by the ICRC in Tehran to support various Iranian authorities and organizations who are in charge of the first response after large incidents or disasters. During the training, participants were exposed to the necessary principles for the recovery and support the identification of human remains and to prevent them to become missing persons, as well as to practical sessions consisting of tabletop exercises designed to study three scenarios with different scale of casualties (with death toll ranging from 66 to 5000). Practical sessions were co–facilitated by IRCS in Farsi.
The workshop allowed participants to improve their knowledge, skills and provided a platform to reflect in view of the current mass casualties (earthquakes and floods), to discuss on the lessons learned as well as on the importance to integrate the management of the dead in local and national fatality response plans, to improve implementation of proper planning in future large–scale events, and to integrate families of the victims in the process. It was concluded that is crucial for authorities involved in the emergency response in the country to follow up on the development of domestic measures specifically dedicated to the management of the dead, to be annexed in local policies, regulations, protocols, and guidelines in line with the principles discussed during the workshop.