DNA Proposals Don’t Go Far Enough

7 May 2009 News

NORTHERN Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, Patricia Lewsley, today said Government proposals for changes in how children’s DNA is retained do not go far enough.

Ms Lewsley welcomed the destruction of all DNA of under-10s in the national DNA database, but said other proposals meant innocent young people could have their DNA kept for six years.

“The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has said that the DNA profiles of under 18s should not be kept on the national database unless they have been convicted of a crime,” she said.

“All four Children’s Commissioners in the UK have backed the system in Scotland, which is fairer to children and young people, and has been supported by the European Court of Human Rights.

“I am particularly concerned that young people’s DNA can be retained for up to six years even if they have not been convicted, or commit a very minor offence.”

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