The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has repeatedly called for the adoption of biometric platforms that make it easier to manage refugee populations. Now, Distilled Identity and Emerge have forged a partnership to fulfill that request. The two companies have announced Homeward, a new platform that uses biometric data to create a self-sovereign identity for stateless refugees.
“Over one billion people lack a legal identity,” said David Shrier, the Founder and CEO of Distilled Identity. “We need to reinvent the system to better serve the poor and dispossessed.”
“Displaced people often face another challenge as they are unable to present themselves as valuable contributors to a host country,” added Lucia Gallardo, the Founder of Emerge. “Homeward’s focus on employability potential allows every claimant the opportunity to leverage untapped strengths and dispel the burden narrative by making a match.”
Homeward uses a combination of physical and behavioral biometrics to build a multilayered identity profile of each refugee. It then takes other variables like cultural preference and the local economy into consideration, seeking to place refugee families in an optimal location that will allow them to thrive after resettlement.
The Homeward pilot program will launch in April 2019 with a cohort of roughly 20,000 refugees. Half of those refugees have been displaced by the conflict in Syria, while the other half will be economic migrants from Central America and the Caribbean.
January 23, 2019 – by Eric Weiss