United States-based firm Gordon Thomas Honeywell Governmental Affairs (GTH-GA) announced the launch of the Forensic DNA World Map Project (WMP), a new component to GTH-GA's popular DNAResource.com, which monitors developments in forensic DNA policy. GTH-GA's president, Tim Schellberg, made the announcement in Lyon, France during INTERPOL's 6th International DNA User's Conference.
Thirty-three (33) countries have implemented DNA database laws requiring the collection of DNA from a defined category of criminal offenders. WMP's main purpose is to provide forensic scientists, criminal justice professionals and lawmakers in countries yet to establish DNA databases access to the policy, legislative, legal and technical knowledge-base from the 33 countries that have preceded them. "The international sharing of this information is essential to ensure that policymakers have the data they need to develop DNA database legislation and policy that effectively solves crime while protecting privacy interests," said Schellberg.
Access to the WMP is limited to those individuals pursuing the information for the purpose of developing and refining forensic DNA policy. WMP is free and conveniently organized by country, allowing users to compare their upcoming database plans and forensic DNA policies with those countries with operational programs. Users may request additional country-specific information, such as enabling legislation, DNA database reports, presentations, statistical data, technical standards and media. The WMP can also connect users with forensic DNA databasing leaders throughout the world.
The announcement of the WMP is timely to the global criminal justice and legislative community. "Currently, 30% of the world's population resides in countries that have passed DNA database laws. Based on legislative discussions taking place globally, GTH-GA estimates this number will increase to 60% by 2015," said Schellberg.
Schellberg highlighted that "with so many countries preparing to pass DNA database legislation over the next five years, it is important that these countries consider the extensive experience and information from the many countries already operating programs."
Gordon Thomas Honeywell Governmental Affairs