It’s World Refugee Day, a time to bring focused attention to a complex issue that is increasingly in the news. 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:
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:
Meanwhile, biometric technology has been helping authorities in Germany to deal with Europe’s ongoing migration crisis:
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