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Last Updated: Monday, 9 February, 2004, 15:16 GMT
'Unknown victim' degree launched
The course will teach the forensic skills needed to identify the victims of conflicts such as in Bosnia
The identification of the bodies of war-crime victims is going to be taught in an innovative degree course.

The University of Dundee says that its undergraduate course in forensic anthropology will be the first of its kind in the United Kingdom.

This will provide the specialist forensic skills needed for investigating bodies found in the wake of atrocities or natural disasters.

The university says there is an increasing demand for such skills.

The four-year degree course will teach human anatomy and specialised areas of bone study, which can be used in medical and legal investigations.

Missing persons

The university says these skills will be used to assist with war crime and human rights abuse investigations in places such as Kosovo and Bosnia.

The forensic analysis of bodies will provide information for the police and international investigators - as well as seeking to establish the identity of individuals.

"It is a sad indictment of our modern society that there is an increasing demand for the services of those who are able to identify the human and so return their name," said Sue Black, Professor of Forensic Anthropology at the university.

Professor Black, who was awarded an OBE for her own forensics work in Kosovo, said the course would address a skills gap that she had identified during her work after the Balkans conflict.

The course was officially launched on Monday by Michael Portillo MP, representing the International Commission on Missing Persons.

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