Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Human Provenance pilot project

From Terri Dowty at ARCH:
"The UK Border Agency has just announced a new initiative – you may have seen a bit about it in the Observer this week.
It’s called the ‘Human Provenance pilot project’ and the ’stakeholder letter’ sent out a couple of weeks ago by UKBA explains:
Human Provenance testing analyses the isotope configuration as stored in a person’s body. All samples will be provided voluntarily. The analysis itself involves the testing of hair and nail samples to allow us to be able to match results using internationally recognised isotope comparison methods to help identify a person’s true country of origin. We will also be testing mitochondrial and Y chromosome DNA, which are collected by use of a mouth swab and matching results using similar comparative methods. These samples will not provide specific information about a person’s identity but simply an indication of their possible nationality allowing other investigations to be made.
See this statement from the British Society for Human Genetics if you want to know why the use of DNA to determine ethnic origin is a seriously daft idea.
UKBA’s letter continues:
…The pilot will also address the issue of children being brought to ASU as part of an asylum seeking family when they are in fact unrelated.
Oh, terrific. Quite apart from the sheer inhumanity of revealing possible family secrets to an already traumatised child and risking family meltdown, the whole idea gives off a whiff of the project’s designers having led blissfully sheltered lives."

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