Integrated Biometrics (IB) is urging the United Nations to recognize September 16 as International Identity Day to underscore the importance of identity as it relates to human rights. The company argues that giving people full ownership of their legal identities will empower them to exercise their other freedoms, and make it easier for governments to distribute resources like food and provide services like healthcare and education.
For its part, IB spent September 16 celebrating with Nigeria, which formally established its own National Identity Day in 2019. IB is hoping that the UN will follow its example and support the holiday on a global scale, noting that the country (and Africa more broadly) has made considerable strides in the identity space in the past few years. Nigeria has received $433 million from the World Bank to develop a national identity program that will eventually register as many as 100 million people, while the push for International Identity Day can be traced to a 2018 speech made by ID4Africa Executive Chairman Dr. Joseph J. Atick.
“Integrated Biometrics is proud to have been one of the first organizations to publicly support Dr. Atick and the ID4Africa team regarding official recognition of September 16th as International Identity Day,” said IB EVP David Gerulski. “We appreciate the continued efforts our partners in government, NGOs, non-profits, and companies are making toward the goal.”
In 2019, IB opened a new office in South Africa in an effort to raise its profile on the African continent. The new contracts that that generated contribute to the company’s strong growth for the calendar year.
Integrated Biometrics has since provided Five-0 fingerprint readers to support humanitarian efforts in Yemen. The United Nations Refugee Agency has previously argued that biometric identification will be vital to those international relief programs moving forward.
September 17, 2020 – by Eric Weiss