The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is now working with government authorities in Chad to register stateless refugees in an identity program that uses biometrics to ensure such individuals have official and reliable identification.
It’s an important effort in Chad, which has seen an influx of refugees from war-torn neighbour the Central African Republic. The UNHCR says that about 75,000 people have fled from the CAR to Chad, and many of these individuals lack any official documentation, which can complicate matters both for the refugees and the government officials trying to manage and assist them. The UN says that so far over 6,000 such refugees have registered their biometrics to obtain identity cards, and with the help of funding from the EU it is expanding its operations in the country to register another 11,000 people who need documentation.
The efforts represent further examples of how biometric technology is being used to provide reliable identification to individuals who sorely need it, with the UN having rolled out its biometric ID card in various refugee hotspots over the last year. The UN says that at least 10 million people around the world are currently stateless, with many more being at risk to become refugees; as such, the issue of identification will continue to be a critical one, with biometric technology likely to play an increasingly important role in efforts to resolve it.
January 23, 2017 – by Alex Perala