BRIEF: How Biometric Tech is Helping Refugees

It’s World Refugee Day, a time to bring focused attention to a complex issue that is increasingly in the news.BRIEF: How Biometric Tech is Helping Refugees According to the UNHCR, the UN agency most directly concerned with refugee issues, one in every 113 people in the world are refugees from war or political violence, with an estimated total of 65 million displaced globally.

Root causes vary, and prospective solutions will need to be as complex as the political, social, economic, and ecological forces causing statelessness. But even here, biometric technology can play an important role, and is increasingly being embraced by policy makers and other stakeholders in dealing with refugee issues.

Just this week, a new joint project involving Accenture and Microsoft was announced that aims to leverage biometrics and blockchain to establish a trusted identity system for the undocumented:

ID2020 Supporters Create Identity Solution Based on Blockchain, Biometrics

As for the UNHCR, it has been pioneering the use of biometric technologies in helping to manage refugee populations in several hotspots around the world, and has lately been stepping up its advocacy of this approach:

Better to Manage Refugees Than Refuse Them: UNHCR

Refugees in Chad Benefit from Biometric IDs

UN Refugee Agency Launches New Biometric ID Cards, Mobile App

Meanwhile, biometric technology has been helping authorities in Germany to deal with Europe’s ongoing migration crisis:

Speech Recognition Tech to Help German Authorities Identify Origin Countries of Refugees

DERMALOG to Highlight Tech’s Role in Refugee Crisis at CeBIT

Such technology certainly isn’t a cure-all, but it’s playing an increasingly important and valuable role in mitigating a serious issue that impacts the whole world.

June 20, 2017 – by Alex Perala