Dr Marie Dussault is an extraordinary lecturer at the University of Pretoria and a Forensic Specialist with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
The ICRC's forensic professionals are charged with the development and implementation of humanitarian forensic action worldwide, principally to help ensure the proper management of the dead, to help resolve and prevent the tragedy of people missing and to bring solace to bereaved families.
The ICRC provides advice, support and training to local authorities and forensic practitioners in searching for, recovering, analysing, identifying, and managing large numbers of unidentified remains in varying states of preservation. Even where forensic facilities are highly developed, this is often beyond the capacities of local authorities and forensic practitioners. The ICRC focuses on building sustainable local forensic capacity, as external assistance may not be available for the duration of such projects, which can span decades. The ICRC also promotes the use of scientific best practice and the provision of necessary training.
Driven solely by humanitarian motives, forensic experts working for the ICRC try to give the unidentified remains of the dead back their names and help bereaved families close a painful chapter.
Dr Dussualt completed a post-doctoral scholarship at the Forensic Anthropology Research Centre and became a valued member of the team. During her time with the ICRC, she will be working in Rwanda, Central African Republic and Burundi.