In 2019, one of the most controversial state operations was forced DNA collection of Malay Muslims in the southern border provinces (SBPs) of Thailand. Over the past year, Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF) has received reports that such a practice often took place when security forces raid houses, schools, and dormitories, especially in “Red Zones” in which the government believes non-state militants are particularly active and influential. Furthermore, in April 2019, the practice of DNA collection was integrated as part of the annual military conscription in the SBPs.
The Thai government claims that the collected DNA samples will be stored in the national security database and later used as evidence to convict suspected insurgents. On the other hand, many local people consider it a discriminatory practice and an unnecessary and disproportionate violation of their rights.
Therefore, Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF)‘s Research Division has created a fact sheet on “Forced DNA Collection in the Southern Border Provinces” to address the following key questions:
(1.) What is forced DNA collection? How and why it is done in the SBPs?
(2.) Is forced DNA collection legal?
(3.) Does forced DNA collection constitute a human rights violation?
(4.) How can civil society organizations monitor forced DNA collection?