Ten Years Since MH17: Reflecting on the Repatriation Mission

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“Bring them home”

As 2024 marks the ten-year commemoration of the MH17 disaster, the JASON Institute extends its invitation to you for an engaging and timely lecture by Hans van de Ven-Huijs, the commanding officer of the MH17 repatriation mission.
Hans van de Ven-Huijs was tasked with the retrieval of the victims, their personal belongings, and the wreckage of flight MH17. During his lecture, Hans will revisit the tragic event of the MH17 downing by a BUK missile and the subsequent months of repatriation efforts. Leveraging his firsthand experiences as the team leader of the repatriation mission in Ukraine, he will guide you through the crash site, offering valuable insights into the intricacies of the repatriation mission. Moreover, he will contemplate the immense impactof this disaster on our society, on the international legal order, but especially on the responders and the bereaved.

The lecture will commence with a brief overview of the conflict in Ukraine, highlighting the circumstances of 2013/2014. Then, it will delve into the mission itself, how it was conducted, the complexity of the (inter)national context and the challenging conditions at the crash site. Lastly, Hans van de Ven-Huijs will offer reflections on the accomplishments of the mission.

Hans van de Ven-Huijs started his officer training in Breda in 1981. Over the past 40 years, he has held numerous positions both domestically and internationally. He has served in Germany, Bosnia, Eritrea, the United States and as Defense Attache in Afghanistan. He has been a member of various emergency response teams, such as USAR, deployed worldwide. From 2014 to 2015, he spent nearly a year in Ukraine as Commander of the MH17 repatriation mission.
Hans retired from the Ministry of Defense last year and since then he has been employed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he works at the Departmental Crisis Centre. Here he is actively engaged in crisis coordination and preparation.

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Apr 22 2024


7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


FGGA Leiden University - Wijnhaven Room 2.02


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