UNHCR Profiles Greek Forensics Professor who Tries to Identify Refugees Drowned in Evros

July 8, 2018

Democritus University of Thrace professor Pavlos Pavlidis is one of Greece’s forensics specialists working on identifying corpses of refugees recovered from the Evros River, on the borders of Greece with Turkey, according to a feature story by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.

A profile on the UNHCR’s site in both Greek and English says that Pavlidis has carried out 359 autopsies between 2000 and 2017 on corpses recovered from the Greek side of the river, most of them victims of drowning or hypothermia. During autopsies, the professor collects DNA and forwards it to police, while all possessions and tattoos on the bodies are photographed and kept on record.

“I am trying to find the missing link between the dead bodies and any living family. It’s very important for me, and I want to give an answer to people who are waiting for a phone call from a (missing) son or daughter,” he tells recent visitors from UNHCR at his office in the university, located in Alexandroupoli.

Up to 2017, the professor was able to positively identify 103 bodies. Some of the deceased people’s families come to take the bodies away, and others leave them for burial in Greece.

The professor foresees he will continue to to be kept busy so long as people continue to flee across the Evros River. “There are bodies at the bottom of the river,” he tells UNHCR.

For the full article, please open the following link:


Despite being unable to prevent smugglers in Turkey from sending refugees and migrants to Greek islands and the northern land border along the Evros River, Greece has made significant progress in dealing with human trafficking, according to a report by the Council of Europe's Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA).

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.