First Asian INTERPOL DNA Workshop opens in Bangkok

2 April 2008

Twenty-two representatives from six Asian countries are meeting from 1 to 3 April 2008 in Bangkok, THAILAND for the first Asian INTERPOL DNA Workshop. Organised by the INTERPOL DNA Unit from the General Secretariat in Lyon, France, with the support of INTERPOL Liaison Office Bangkok (LOBang), the workshop aims to enhance DNA data exchange between member countries and to promote the benefits of DNA profiling across the Asian region.

The workshop will focus on the international exchange of DNA profiles and on developing DNA comparison strategies for the Asian region. More importantly, the workshop represents the first collaborative effort among Asian law enforcement agencies to tackle the issue of exchanging forensic intelligence.

Welcoming the participants, Panaspong SIRAWONGSE, Head of INTERPOL Liaison Office Bangkok said: “We need to ensure that INTERPOL remains at the forefront of developments in law enforcement. It is important to increase the pool of trained users for the world’s only criminal DNA database in order that our member countries have access to information crucial to investigations in a systematic and timely manner.”

INTERPOL is promoting the increased use of DNA profiling in international police investigations through the main activities of the INTERPOL DNA Monitoring Expert Group, the International DNA Users' Conference and regional workshops. These services have been established to provide strategic and technical support to enhance member countries' DNA profiling capacity and promote widespread use in the international law enforcement environment.

Member countries which have signed the INTERPOL DNA Charter have immediate online access to the database, allowing law enforcement to submit and check records in seconds via I-24/7, INTERPOL’s global police communications system.

In order to maintain the highest levels of data protection, the charter states that DNA profiles entered into INTERPOL’s database remain anonymous, with member countries retaining ownership of the profile data and controlling its inclusion, access and destruction in accordance with their national laws.