Daily World News Digest, 31 March 2015

Germanwings DNA identification could take four months

Australian Associated Press reports today that it could take up to four months to identify victims from last week’s Germanwings crash using DNA, according to the head of the research institute carrying out the work. Francois Daoust, the head of the Criminal Research Institute of the National Gendarmerie in Pontoise near Paris, told dpa on Monday that it might not be possible to identify all 150 people who died in Tuesday’s crash in the French Alps. In the crash of an Air Algerie plane in Mali last year, the institute was able to identify 115 of the 116 victims. “The 116th we couldn’t identify because we couldn’t recover any of his remains,” Daoust said. The impact of Germanwings flight 4U9525 also occurred at a higher velocity than the Air Algerie flight. http://bit.ly/1EXFKjZ

Senator seeks change in Philippines missing persons legislation

The Inquirer.net news portal in the Philippines reports today that Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago wants to ease the agony of families of those who go missing during natural calamities by cutting to two years the waiting time for them to collect death benefits. The senator noted that the existing law does not specifically include those missing due to natural disasters, though this can be addressed. She pointed out that the 2012 World Disaster Report ranked the Philippines as the third most disaster-prone country in the world because of its high exposure to natural calamities. http://bit.ly/1CGp3fE

The search for Mexico’s missing children

The Daily Beast reports today on Mexico’s decade-long missing persons crisis. The article focuses on Iguala, “the City of Gold” in southern Mexico, where 43 students were abducted in September and where families of other missing persons have taken upon themselves the task of combing the surrounding countryside for evidence of the remains of loved ones. Members of the Committee in Search of the Other Disappeared of Iguala meet every Sunday morning at the San Gerardo Catholic Parish in Iguala and head for the hills. Where the parents of the missing 43 student activists have made a point of demanding justice from the government, calling for their children to be found and returned alive, the Committee for the Other Disappeared is not asking for justice or seeking punishment for those responsible. Its objective is to find the bodies of relatives and give them a proper burial with a gravestone. Forty percent of those who have disappeared in Mexico since 2006 are young people between the ages of 15 and 29. http://thebea.st/1BLk5um

Combating human trafficking to become national priority in Thailand

The Phuket Gazette reports today that the suppression of human trafficking will be made a national priority to avoid the risk of Thailand being downgraded under an international protocol against trafficking, according to Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan. Prawit made his remarks on 30 March. He said the previous government had not amended regulations and had not followed international standards. “If the previous government claims it acted on the issue, then we need to look into why fishing trawlers were not registered,” he said. On Sunday, an adviser to the Labor Ministry said that 869 trawlers had been inspected since the military government took power in May last year and that 65 had been seized. In comparison, the previous government only inspected 152 trawlers during its three years in office. http://bit.ly/1G2JFBv

Items in Daily World News Digest are summaries of published reports relevant to the issue of missing persons, compiled by ICMP staff.  These items do not necessarily reflect the position of ICMP.