The escalating phenomenon of migration, accompanied by a disturbing surge in associated tragedies, has persistently violated internationally protected human rights. Absence of physical evidence, namely the presence of adequately identified corpses, may impede the full enjoyment of human rights and—in some cases—the course of justice as it obstructs the initiation of legal proceedings against individuals implicated in causing such catastrophes. It also presents administrative obstacles, as death certificates are indispensable in legitimizing statuses like orphanhood and widowhood. Family reunification, particularly for orphans, plays a significant role for those attempting to reconnect with their relatives all over the world. Likewise, for mothers, the acknowledgment of their marital status or widowhood can be a pathway to regain their marginalized right to social life. To elucidate this issue, we analyzed six representative cases from the tragic October 3, 2013, shipwreck near the Italian island of Lampedusa, where 366 individuals were retrieved dead from the sea. These cases underscore the practical challenges involved, highlighting the compelling need for continued efforts to ensure that this burdensome problem transcends from being a mere ethical, moral, and legal discourse. Although considerable progresses, these cases also reveal that substantial work still lies ahead. There is a pressing need for improved mechanisms to certify kinship ties, which are often the limiting factor in many reunifications, and can hinder the granting of custody to children. The severity and far-reaching implications of this problem necessitate thoughtful attention and action, especially considering the ongoing escalation in migration and related fatalities.

Why identification matters: an explorative study on six cases of family reunification / L. Franceschetti, D. Mazzarelli, C. Ragni, F. Paltenghi, A. Pecoraro, D. Albani, R. Giuffrida, C. Siccardi, N. Polizzi, P. Di Simone, A. D'Apuzzo, D. Mandrioli, M. Buscemi, M. D'Amico, I. Viarengo, C. Cattaneo. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LEGAL MEDICINE. - ISSN 0937-9827. - 138:3(2024), pp. 1187-1192. [10.1007/s00414-024-03163-w]

Why identification matters: an explorative study on six cases of family reunification

L. Franceschetti
Primo
;
D. Mazzarelli
Secondo
;
C. Ragni;C. Siccardi;A. D'Apuzzo;D. Mandrioli;M. Buscemi;M. D'Amico;I. Viarengo
Penultimo
;
C. Cattaneo
Ultimo
2024

Abstract

The escalating phenomenon of migration, accompanied by a disturbing surge in associated tragedies, has persistently violated internationally protected human rights. Absence of physical evidence, namely the presence of adequately identified corpses, may impede the full enjoyment of human rights and—in some cases—the course of justice as it obstructs the initiation of legal proceedings against individuals implicated in causing such catastrophes. It also presents administrative obstacles, as death certificates are indispensable in legitimizing statuses like orphanhood and widowhood. Family reunification, particularly for orphans, plays a significant role for those attempting to reconnect with their relatives all over the world. Likewise, for mothers, the acknowledgment of their marital status or widowhood can be a pathway to regain their marginalized right to social life. To elucidate this issue, we analyzed six representative cases from the tragic October 3, 2013, shipwreck near the Italian island of Lampedusa, where 366 individuals were retrieved dead from the sea. These cases underscore the practical challenges involved, highlighting the compelling need for continued efforts to ensure that this burdensome problem transcends from being a mere ethical, moral, and legal discourse. Although considerable progresses, these cases also reveal that substantial work still lies ahead. There is a pressing need for improved mechanisms to certify kinship ties, which are often the limiting factor in many reunifications, and can hinder the granting of custody to children. The severity and far-reaching implications of this problem necessitate thoughtful attention and action, especially considering the ongoing escalation in migration and related fatalities.
Dead migrants; Family reunification; Human rights; Humanitarian forensic sciences; Identification
Settore MED/43 - Medicina Legale
2024
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/1051650
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