CRG and GeneWatch UK Issue New Resources on Forensic DNA Databases

by jeeg 13. January 2011 21:51

The use of forensic DNA databases by law enforcement agencies around the globe is expanding unchecked at an alarming rate and efforts are underway to harmonize them. Today, 56 countries worldwide operate national DNA databases from Asia to Europe and the Americas.  Some are still in their infancy, while others such as those in the United States and the United Kingdom are large, highly sophisticatedand have been established for at least fifteen years. The threats to privacy and democracy worldwide posed by the rapid growth of DNA databases are heightened by the growing effort to link all these databases into one international database.  In a post 9-11 world, law enforcement and national leaders have become increasingly concerned with terrorism, illegal immigration and “global crime.”


It is clear that an international effort is vital to ensure that relaxed standards for such databases do not become the norm.  The Council for Responsible Genetics, GeneWatch UK, and Privacy International have joined together in a groundbreaking project that seeks to achieve a direct impact on the human rights standards adopted for DNA database legislation across the world.


For this purpose, the Council for Responsible Genetics and GeneWatch UK have created new information resources that outline the global growth of DNA databases and the human rights issues implicated by their dramatic expansion. These resources are available below:


Visit CRG's New Guide to Forensic DNA Databases Worldwide

Forensic DNA Databases and Human Rights


We expect these resource to continue to grow and become the leading source of information internationally on forensic DNA databases and essential tools in organizing, educating and inspiring  grass roots activism.  We expect such developments will lead to international and domestic discussion, debate and concrete legislative change reflecting human rights safeguards for forensic DNA databases.


Since 1983, the Council for Responsible Genetics has represented the public interest and fostered public debate about the social, ethical and environmental implications of genetic technologies.  CRG is a leader in the movement to steer biotechnology toward the advancement of public health, environmental protection, equal justice, and respect for human rights .


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