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What DNA can't tell: Problems with using genetic tests to determine the nationality of migrants

Accepted version
Peer-reviewed

Type

Article

Change log

Authors

ABEL, SARAH 

Abstract

jats:pThis article relates to a set of recent reports about the Canadian Border Services Agency's (CBSA) use of commercial DNA ancestry tests to determine the nationality of detained migrants. While DNA tests are routinely used in many countries for the purposes of family reunification, these reports are particularly concerning. Not only do they imply a misunderstanding of the scope of genetics to shed light on legal and political phenomena such as nationality claims, but they also flag up important ethical problems regarding issues of consent and data privacy. In this article, the author clarifies the flawed logic behind using genetics to investigate nationality, outlines the ethical issues at stake and suggests amendments to existing norms in order to work towards more responsible practices in this area.</jats:p>

Description

Keywords

4404 Development Studies, 4401 Anthropology, 44 Human Society, Genetics, Generic health relevance

Journal Title

Anthropology Today

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

0268-540X
1467-8322

Volume Title

34

Publisher

Wiley

Rights

All rights reserved
Sponsorship
The article was produced as part of the CitiGen project, which has received generous funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, under Grant Agreement No. 649307.