Forensic Specialist, Undetermined

ICRC - International Committee of the Red Cross

ICRC HQ Geneva

Please note that the ICRC is not a UN-system organization.

What we do

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) works worldwide to provide humanitarian assistance and protection to people affected by conflict and armed violence. We take action in response to emergencies and at the same time promote respect for international humanitarian law. We are an independent and neutral organization, and our mandate stems essentially from the Geneva Conventions of 1949. We work closely with National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and with their International Federation in order to ensure a concerted, rational and rapid humanitarian response to the needs of the victims of armed conflict or any other situation of internal violence. We direct and coordinate the international activities conducted in these situations.

Role Description

The ICRC seeks Forensic specialists for several positions worldwide with continuous departures throughout the year.

As part of its global humanitarian mandate, the ICRC forensic mission is to ensure the protection of the separated, the missing, the deceased and their families in armed conflict, disaster, migration, and other situations of violence. This is done through the provision of direct services to the affected populations and/or by providing advice and technical support to the authorities of their medico-legal system, the National Society (Red Cross/Crescent) and other entities involved in the management of the dead, prevention of disappearances and search for and identification of missing persons.

Main responsibilities

Working within a multi-disciplinary team and under the supervision of a Forensic Coordinator, the Forensic Specialist, brings: Direct support to affected populations

  • Contribute to the case analysis, case management and follow up of ICRC Tracing requests regarding missing people. The professional will focus on collection and analysis of data, and provide recommendations about the next course of action.
  • Participate in family information sessions regarding the identification processes of their beloved ones, and the management of the dead.

Program implementation

  • Advise and support to authorities on the strengthening of the legal framework regarding the dignified management of the dead according to the best standards and in accordance with IHL obligations when needed.
  • Support the Operational Medico-Legal System: help to strengthen the cooperation and coordination between the parties such as ministries (Min of Health, Min of Justice, Min of Defense), and institutions (for e.g. mortuaries, hospitals, laboratories).
  • Advise on Standard Operating Procedures and work on capacity building by providing training on searching for mass graves, excavation and exhumation, methods of identification in laboratories, techniques of archaeology/anthropology, medical procedures, and DNA analysis.
  • Sensitize, advocate and/or provide support to authorities on the development of Emergency Response Preparedness.
  • In support of the Forensic Coordinator; Contributes to the assessment of the forensic humanitarian situation and the elaboration of an ICRC forensic response and contributing in the monitoring of the program evaluation (fit for purpose) and reporting mechanism.

Desired profile and skills


  • Masters’ degree or equivalent in medical, biological, criminalistic or forensic sciences. Preferred areas of expertise: forensic pathology, anthropology/archaeology, genetics, odontology, molecular biology, criminalistics.
  • At least 6 years post-graduate forensic case-work experience or relevant experience in a medico-legal death/missing persons investigations.
  • Professional English language skills (min C1 level) and preferably a good level in another ICRC working languages (B2 level) Spanish and/or French and/or Arabic and/or Russian.
  • Experience in report writing, and a dedication towards the highest forensic scientific and ethical procedures.
  • Desire to work in proximity to affected people and communities.


  • Experience in forensic practice applied to humanitarian or human rights investigations.
  • Experience in cases related to ongoing and/or post-conflict unidentified bodies and missing persons.
  • Experience in Management of the Dead from Emergencies/DVI, including mortuary management and identification process.
  • Knowledge and understanding of policies, regulations and procedures of the medico-legal system.

  • Proven experience of working in multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Skills and experience in rapid situation analysis, strategy development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
  • Proven experience in delivering forensic training and capacity to adapt the message to diverse audiences, also Instructing and teaching experience at a university level and/or contribution to relevant scientific publications in the area of forensic.
  • Experience in the creation of technical and non-technical guidelines and protocols.
  • Experience and practice in negotiations and public relations.

Our operational & field constraints

  • In line with the principle of neutrality, the ICRC does not assign employees under mobile contracts to a country of which they are nationals.
  • Candidates need to be in good health and must meet medical check requirements before qualifying for field deployments.
  • Candidates must hold a valid manual driving license.
  • Applicants must be prepared to accept unaccompanied postings (i.e. no spouse, partner, children, or dependents) for at least 6 months.

What we offer

  • Rewarding work in a humanitarian and multicultural environment.
  • Competitive employment package with medical insurance and ICRC pension plan.
  • In-house training opportunities for personal development.
  • A full-time open-ended mobile contract.
  • Opportunity to join an ICRC talent pool and be considered for future assignments elsewhere to experience different contexts, fields and challenges.
  • Feel free to insert any benefits specific to your department/unit.

Additional information

  • Type of mobility: International.
  • Length of assignment: 12 months minimum.
  • Starting date: Depending on operational needs – continuous.

How to apply

Ready to apply? Please upload your resume and a cover letter as well as copies of your diplomas and certifications, valid license to practice, passport and driving license.

The ICRC values diversity and is committed to create an inclusive working environment. We welcome applications from all qualified candidates.

Tags: human rights, humanitarian assistance, humanitarian law, humanitarian response, mass graves, molecular biology, monitoring and evaluation, program implementation, public relations