Being Found: A Fundamental Human Right

Author(s): Ann Marie Mires; Claire Gold

Year: 2016


The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) database lists approximately 100,000 missing persons in the United States. Many of the people who go missing in the United States are victims of homicide. In many cases, the investigation begins only when human remains are found. DNA technology has helped decrease the number of unidentified cases but still, many “unfound” cases remain unsolved. Victims of homicide have no choice as to where their bodies are placed and often suffer violations before and after death. They suffer an injustice to their basic human right to live. Families of the unfound often suffer from physical ailments due to the unresolved fate of their unfound loved one. The number of unfound individuals in the United States surpasses the scale of a mass disaster and should be viewed more accurately as a crisis in human rights. Forensic Archaeologists are specialists who provide technical assistance in the recovery of human remains at forensic scenes, mass disasters, and human rights violations. Specialists in this field can add information to unfound cases normally handled by law enforcement. Legislation that addresses the plight of the thousands of unfound cases should be given priority.

Cite this Record

Being Found: A Fundamental Human Right. Ann Marie Mires, Claire Gold. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 402973)

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