THE HAGUE, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) on Tuesday opened a state-of-the-art DNA laboratory at its new headquarters in The Hague.
The laboratory system focuses exclusively on missing persons identification and utilizes Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), a technique that is expected to deliver an exponential increase in the power of DNA identification, according to ICMP, a treaty-based international organization with a mandate to secure the cooperation of governments and others in locating and identifying missing persons.
Since 2001, ICMP has operated a DNA laboratory system to assist governments in identifying large numbers of persons missing from conflict, human rights abuses, natural and manmade disasters, organized crime, irregular migration and other circumstances where persons go missing for involuntary reasons.
The system, which is designed to work on the most challenging cases, operates on a high-throughput scale. It has generated DNA results on more than 50,000 cases of degraded skeletal remains and contributed to the identification of around 20,000 persons worldwide.
With the new laboratory, ICMP aspires to maintain a capacity of up to 10,000 cases a year.
Over the course of two decades, ICMP has responded to a wide variety of complex missing persons scenarios in over 40 countries.