Admissibility of new techniques of disposing of the dead, Health Council of the Netherlands (2020)

This report concerns the advice of the Health Council of the Netherlands regarding the admissibility of new techniques of disposing of the dead. In accordance with Dutch law, a body of a deceased person can be buried, cremated or donated to science. New techniques are being developed, like alkaline hydrolysis and composting. At the request of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, the Health Council of the Netherlands proposed a framework that can be utilised to assess the admissibility of such new techniques. Three values should be taken as guidelines: safety, dignity and sustainability. Alkaline hydrolysis fulfills the conditions, according to the Council. Too little is known about composting and hence it cannot be assessed whether this technique fulfills the conditions. You can download the report and summary here, or access them via

Modernising the Dutch Corpse Disposal Act (2019)

This note concerns the intentions of the government (TK-36096-44), and the initiative memorandum of Member of Parliament De Boer (TK-35077-2), with regard to the amendment of the Dutch Corpse Disposal Act (Wet op de lijkbezorging). The note focuses on diversity, on the deadlines for ash retrieval, burial and cremation and on developments regarding alkaline hydrolysis. You can find current information about developments regarding changes in the Corpse Disposal Act on the website of the Dutch House of Representatives.

Diversity-Ready Cemeteries and Crematoria in England and Wales (2018)

Maddrell, A., Beebeejaun, Y., McClymont, K.,  Mathijssen, B., McNally, D. &  Dogra, S.

The UK is an ethnically and religiously diverse society, shaped by longstanding ties with communities from the New Commonwealth, and other dynamic flows of international migration, particularly within Europe. This briefing report focuses on a little discussed but important dimension of migrant and minority experiences in England and Wales: cemetery and crematoria provision. On the basis of extensive research in four case study towns, it argues that diversity-ready cemeteries, crematoria and remembrance sites are a necessary but currently neglected aspect of an inclusive and integrated multicultural society. Addressing these issues will contribute to greater social well-being and a more inclusive civic culture. The briefing report gives an overview of the research’s key findings and recommendations and offers insight into best practices of individuals, community groups, local and national service providers, planners and policy makers. The briefing note provides a more concise summary.