The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) continues to promote biometric solutions for the management of refugee populations with UNHCR head Filippo Grandi’s recent visit to a refugee camp in Bangladesh.
Bangladeshi authorities are working to help Rohingya Muslims who have fled nearby Myanmar, where they have faced persecution. Reporting on his meeting with Bangladesh’s Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, Grandi said she expressed a desire to improve the refugees’ conditions in the country. Grandi added that he also saw similar concern in his meeting with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi last week in Myanmar.
That prompted the High Commissioner to once again promote the use of biometric registration for refugees, this time in Bangladesh; the UNHCR also advocated for such technology in Malaysia as early as 2015. “This can help to improve assistance and protection no matter where they are, and also help with planning for any eventual voluntary return,” he said in a statement.
The UNHCR has been increasingly vocal in its advocacy for biometric IDs in managing refugees, arguing that it can help to ensure that vulnerable individuals do not fall through administrative cracks while also offering host states a reassuring level of security, among other benefits.
July 20, 2017 – by Alex Perala