DNA Databank to Trace Kidnapped Kids

China has set up a DNA databank as a measure to help recover trafficked children. From Cao Li of China Daily:

A nationwide DNA databank has been launched to help authorities identify abducted children and return them to their families.

Already 32 of the nation’s 236 provincial and city laboratories have access to the network, with the rest to be added this month, said the Ministry of Public Security.

Blood samples will be taken of all parents who report missing children and stored on the database, allowing scientists to test their DNA against any youngsters police rescue from abduction, find homeless or begging in the street, or suspect of being kidnapped.

No fee should be charged for the service, said the ministry after the program was unveiled on Wednesday.

BBC also reports on the new database and offers some comments about the phenomenon of trafficking in China:

Child trafficking is seen as a growing problem in China, despite government attempts to crack down on it.

In a society that favours male heirs, it is often boys who are taken.

The problem is exacerbated by strict birth control policies, which limit many couples to only one child.

Families sometimes buy trafficked women and children to use as extra labour and household servants.

The Ministry of Public Security has released its statement here.

For more on the topic of trafficking, see here.

May 1, 2009 9:46 PM
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Categories: Sci-Tech, Society