ICMP Continues with Identification of Tsunami Victims

13 September 2005: The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has, to date, submitted 326 DNA Match Reports to the Thai authorities, pursuant to ICMP’s work on identification of the tsunami victims as part of its humanitarian efforts.In May 2005, ICMP agreed with the Government of Thailand to assist in the identification of tsunami victims. ICMP analyzes bone samples in order to extract DNA profiles and compare them with DNA profiles from the reference samples collected by the Thai authorities and authorities of the countries whose citizens went missing in Thailand during the tsunami. A DNA match report indicating identity of a missing person is forwarded to the Thai authorities.

The Tsunami Victim Identification Tracking Chart, posted on ICMP’s web site, contains the number of bone samples received, DNA profiles obtained from bone samples, and the number of DNA match reports. Further, it contains a breakdown by country of origin of the missing persons for DNA reports submitted. The highest number, 232 DNA Match Reports submitted, is related to victims originating from Thailand.

ICMP experts are able to extract DNA profiles from bone samples, even if they are highly deteriorated, due to their extensive work experience and techniques they have developed in the former Yugoslavia.

ICMP will publish updated statistics weekly on bone samples received, analyzed and matched with reference samples.