FOR A SAFER AFRICA
To enable our forensic community to learn from best practices in the use of DNA Evidence to solve cases and prevent violent crime, as well as for humanitarian efforts, we have created a 'DNA Toolkit' of resources below.
Ethical considerations for human sequences
in environmental DNA
Whereas CV-19 threw us into a world of e-greetings and e-meetings - the new kid on the e-block is eDNA - environmental DNA analysis, a rapidly advancing field with immense potential in conservation and ecology. eDNA involves studying genetic information from environmental samples to understand species distributions and genotypes in ecosystems. While eDNA research offers valuable insights, it also raises ethical concerns, especially when it involves the analysis of human DNA from environmental samples and the information that could be derived from it.
Dr Andrzej Ossowski
The creation of PBGOT
The Polish Genetic Database of Victims of Totalitarianisms (PBGOT) project has carried out archaeological exhumations at the Powązki Military Cemetery that has resulted in the recovery of skeletal remains of victims of Communist and Nazi totalitarian regimes in several mass graves. The database serves as a central repository of genetic information of the victims’ DNA and that of the victims’ nearest living relatives, with the goal of making a positive identification of the victims.
Forensic Science International: Reports is a gold open access journal which fosters information and knowledge exchange through the dissemination of foundational science, case reports, mini reviews, population data, and informed opinion across all disciplines within the forensic sciences. The journal also welcomes the reporting of negative results and validation studies.
The need for
Forensic Science Regulation
to enhance quality assurance
Forensic science has gained popularity in resolving crime and humanitarian catastrophes. On a daily basis, countries globally are using some form of forensic science to resolve crime, with reports of such cases all over social media. The forensic industry has revolutionized the way crimes are detected and investigated, and its importance cannot be over-emphasized.
The second part of Locard’s Exchange Principle
Few of us know the second part of Locard’s exchange principle:
The degree of contact depends on the intensity, duration and nature of the contact.
which will determine the extent of the transfer. These are important considerations to be kept in mind, in the age of Touch DNA.
Prof. Bruce Budowle
Revisiting informed consent in forensic genomics in light of current technologies
Informed consent is based on basic ethical principles that should be considered when conducting biomedical and behavioral research involving human subjects.
Read this article to learn how to ensure, in our pursuit of the truth, that it is done ethically and with consent.
Prof. Bruce Budowle
The importance of publishing
We would like to encourage more publications from Africa,
as these help with getting funding and support for the development of DNA infrastructure and policy in the region.
Prof. Bruce Budowle is one of the most published forensic scientists in the world and has written a piece exclusively for DNAforAfrica about the impact publishing has on driving DNA policy in developing countries.
Making Sense of
This guide shares what DNA analysis can currently do in the criminal justice system, what its limitations are, and what might be possible in the future. It includes graphics and real-life cases where DNA evidence has been a game changer in investigations as well as where its misuse has led to miscarriages of justice. We hope this guide will be a useful resource to anyone who works with, or crosses paths with DNA evidence in the criminal justice system.
WHAT CAN DNA TELL YOU ABOUT A CRIME?
Sexual Assault Kits
The recommendations in this document are not mandated by any governing body but provided as recommended best practices based on research, well-established processes from other disciplines, extensive professional experience of the working group members, and input from the public.
While it relates specifically to USA best practices allowed in their criminal justice system, it has global application.
A MULTI-DISCIPLINARY APPROACH
Science in the Judicial Process:
The Expert's Role and Professional Responsibilities
Many forensic scientists find testifying in court challenging if not, terrifying! Many have not yet testified, and have interests in learning about the role of an expert witness.Join our panel discussion on Wed, 19 April 2023 at 4pm (CET) and engage with our world renowned and experienced Panelists who tackle the challenging question of what constitutes a 'good expert witness’ as well as discuss controversial practices they have seen within the judicial legal system.
Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Act 8 of 2022
South Africa has passed a new law that mandates that convicted offenders must have their DNA samples taken prior to release or being eligible for parole and the resultant DNA profile must be added to the DNA database. This new law will help solve cold cases and discourage recidivism especially in sexual violence cases.
Convicted Offender Act
Mandatory DNA sampling
Gender Based Violence & Femicide
National Strategic Plan
The NSP aims to provide a multi-sectoral, coherent strategic policy and programming framework to strengthen a coordinated national response to the crisis of gender-based violence and femicide by the government of South Africa and the country as a whole. The strategy seeks to address the needs and challenges faced by all, especially women across age, sexual orientation, sexual and gender identities; and specific groups such as elderly women, women who live with disability, migrant women and trans women, affected and impacted by the gender-based violence scourge in South Africa.
Evaluating the CURRENT STATE of crisis response to sexual assault
Following discussions with African criminal justice professionals about issues of sexual violence in 2019, RAINN set out to conduct a study about the existence and quality of crisis response to sexual assault in six African nations.
The aim of this research was to identify the availability of comprehensive
post-rape care for survivors, and the capacity to hold offenders
accountable through DNA evidence.