Biometric ID cards and new legislation are now helping refugees in Ecuador to rebuild their lives.
The legislation has provided the catalyst: Essentially, it grants residents of Ecuador in possession of refugee cards the same rights as the country’s national ID cards. That means refugees who present their IDs when applying for a job or a mortgage can’t simply be turned away, as they often were before.
And that impacts a lot of people: The United Nations says that Ecuador is Latin America’s biggest host to refugees, with a population of a little over 61,000 at the end of this past March. Those who proceed to register their biometrics for a new identity card are now better positioned to rebuild their lives, and to contribute meaningfully to Ecuador’s economy and civil life.
The biometric component of the ID cards, meanwhile, quietly ensures that refugees can always be tied to their government credentials. It’s an approach to identification for which the United Nations has emerged as an enthusiastic supporter, having launched multiple biometric ID programs at refugee settlements around the world in recent years. Like the new legislation allowing refugees a greater stake in Ecuadorian life, the reliability of the biometric credentials benefits both those who possess ID cards and the governments that issue them.
May 3, 2018 – by Alex Perala