UNHCR Highlights Benefits of Biometric ID in Latest Rohingya Update

UNHCR Highlights Benefits of Biometric ID in Latest Rohingya Update

Officials with the United Nations refugee agency continue to promote the benefits of biometric registration as they call for continuing attention to Bangladesh’s Rohingya muslim refugees.

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar since genocidal attacks against their people began in 2017, making them one of the world’s biggest refugee populations. Now, with monsoon season approaching, officials with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees are calling for renewed humanitarian aid for the group.

“I’m really appealing to donors, in light of the hardship of the people here, in light of the potential risks posed by cyclones and monsoons,” commented UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi in a statement.

But in addition to warning of potential dangers to the refugees, the UNHCR also highlighted the positive advancements that it has been making in helping to get the displaced persons back on their footing, including through the use of biometric registration for identity cards. Over 200,000 Rohingya refugees have already gone through the registration process, the UNHCR explained; and for many, the identity documents “are a first and that confirm their identity in Bangladesh, as well as enhance their right to access services and protection.”

The UN refugee agency has been expanding its use of biometric IDs for displaced persons since 2017, and has proven to be an enthusiastic proponent of the technology, which helps to establish reliable proof of identity for individuals who often lack official government papers. “All their life, many have been without proper identification, so having this is an incredible step into a more dignified and safe life,” commented Grandi in the UNHCR’s latest update.

Source: UNHCR¹,²

April 26, 2019 – by Alex Perala