Indonesia: Itochu donates tsunami children tracking system for Aceh

Jakarta, Indonesia-Relief -- Cross Match Technologies, a leading global provider of finger and palm print biometric identification solutions, and Itochu Management Consulting Co., Ltd., are jointly donating electronic fingerprint child ID systems to the Office of the Minister of Social Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia.

According to Cross Match statement, the systems will be used to collect biometric and biographic information, as well as digital photographs, of the children in the disaster relief centers and schools located in Aceh and Sumatra -- the areas hardest hit by the Tsunami.

In response to the devastation Indonesia experienced as a result of the Tsunami, Cross Match Technologies, in cooperation with Itochu's Jakarta office, have made a joint donation to the Indonesian government in an effort to protect the most vulnerable victims -- the children.

Given the situation with thousands of orphans, and the potential for increased kidnapping and slave trading, the Indonesian government is implementing an electronic fingerprint identification system to augment the data collection initiatives that are already in place.

When a child is missing, it is critical to have vital statistics and a current photograph on hand to use to dispatch to government officials and for comparison purposes. Fingerprints are ideal to have available as they can provide a positive ID under virtually any circumstances. Often times a child's appearance is altered in a kidnapping situation making photographs alone difficult to use for identification. In addition, if a child is found years after they are kidnapped, a fingerprint can still provide a positive ID regardless of the child's appearance or age.

''We are grateful to Cross Match and Itochu for this technology donation which we believe will help us achieve a priority -- the protection of children,'' said His Excellency, Minister Bachtiar Chamsyah, Minister of Social Affairs, Republic of Indonesia. ''We plan to use these systems in the affected areas to add critical information such as 10 fingerprints and a photograph to the data we are already collecting on the children under our care.''

''Cross Match is pleased to provide these fingerprint ID systems to the Indonesian government to assist in tracking and identifying the Tsunami orphans,'' said Ted Johnson, Cross Match Chairman and CEO.

''Through our valued partner Itochu, we will ensure the systems are up and running and registering the children as quickly as possible. These same systems have been used throughout the United States for the safety of children by organizations such as the Florida Department of Children and Families, the Ohio Attorney General's Office, the Alabama Department of Education, and hundreds of schools and police departments,'' he added.

''We are happy to be working with the Indonesian government and Cross Match in deploying electronic child ID in Aceh and Sumatra,'' said Shigeki Nishiyama, Executive Managing Director of Itochu. ''Electronic child ID and biometrics in general have been proven to enhance security overall and therefore should result in a safer environment for these most vulnerable victims of the Tsunami.''

The child ID systems are expected to be operational in schools and disaster centers in Aceh and Sumatra by the end of July. =A9 che