Ethiopia to enroll all refugees in new biometric system by end of 2018

Ethiopia is carrying out a large-scale biometric enrollment project for refugees to deliver better protection and assistance to them in accord with the country’s Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF), which addresses the pledges of the 2016 New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants. More than 100,000 refugees arrived in the country in 2017, and along with other refugees in the country, all are expected to be registered in the Biometric Identity Management System (BIMS) by the end of 2018, according

Biometric ID program for displaced Rohingya completes first phase

A UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) program to count families among displaced Rohingya refugees from Myanmar and identify individuals with biometric registration has completed its first phase, counting over half a million people, a UNHCR spokesperson says. The program is overseen by Bangladesh’s Minister of Home Affairs and conducted jointly by the UNHCR and Bangladesh’s Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission (RRRC). The first phase was carried out in the Kutupalong camp, makeshift areas around it, and the makeshift area of Balukhali,

UN agencies increasingly using biometric registration to target aid in conflict areas

United Nations agencies tracking displaced individuals are increasingly using biometric registration to better target aid, particularly in areas of conflict, where personal identification systems tend to be weak, according to a report by Devex. Biometric registration can help these agencies provide real-time data, limit paperwork, and improve efficiency in these regions. However, different agencies often use different systems, which can result in overlap and duplication within the registration process. For example, in northeastern Nigeria, both the International Organization for Migration

Malaysia asks UNHCR for refugee biometric data

The Malaysian government has called on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to share its database of approximately 150,000 refugees and asylum seekers registered in the country, which includes their biometric information, according to a report by Channel News Asia. Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan said that the authorities are worried that some Islamic State (IS) militants may have entered Malaysia and obtained a refugee card issued by UNHCR in an effort to move freely within the country.

European Parliament supports measure to fingerprint asylum seekers from age 6

The European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Commission has supported a new measure that proposes to lower the fingerprinting age of asylum seekers from 14 to six, according to a report in New Europe. The new measure, which is intended to facilitate children’s reunification with parents, was part of a package of amendments to revamp the Eurodac fingerprint database. In total, the amendments were approved with 35 yes votes, 10 no votes and 8 abstentions. The MEPs also approved several other measures,

Identity Strategy Partners issues recommendations for improving refugee vetting process

Janice Kephart, a partner at Identity Strategy Partners, issued a statement which included several recommendations for improving the vetting process for refugees. The move comes a few months after the former 9/11 Commission border counsel released a statement regarding President Donald Trump’s “Executive Order: Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States”. The United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), which is run jointly by the State Department with referrals from the United Nations and the U.S. Citizenship

UNHCR says security and refugee protection have complementary goals

In a recent address to the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee in New York, UNHCR’s protection chief emphasized that contrary to popular belief, protecting refugees and ensuring the security of their receiving countries are complementary goals, according to a report by UNHCR. “Measures to ensure access to safety and protection for those in need, including those fleeing terror, can also help safeguard the security of transit and host countries and communities,” Volker Türk told the committee. Currently, there are some

German migration agency pushes for all refugees to be fingerprinted

In an effort to combat benefit fraud and prevent the use of multiple identities, Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) has urged regional authorities to fingerprint all refugees currently living in Germany, according to a report by DW. BAMF director Jutta Cordt told regional newspaper Passauer Neue Presse that it is the responsibility of Germany’s regional immigration offices to fingerprint refugees. “They have to take the fingerprints of all people who register with them and compare the data

UNHCR, EU working with Chad on biometrics registration program for refugees

UNHCR and the European Union is working in Chad to help children of refugees fleeing war to receive ID cards. The UN agency, in conjunction with the EU, is helping Chad implement a biometric registration and nationality verification program to support returnees and prevent statelessness. Implemented by local Chadian authorities in collaboration with UNHCR and its partners, the program is slated to expand throughout southern Chad, where 11,000 people need official documentation. So far, more than 6,000 returnees have been

UNHCR introduces new biometric ID card for refugees

In an effort to combat identity fraud and counterfeiting, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) rolled out its new ID card for refugees, along with a new card verification mobile application. The new card includes a number of enhanced security features including 3D holograms, bar codes and a large SQR code. The card is supported by enhanced biometric data collection at the UNHCR office, including retina, 10 fingers and face scan. “To enable the law enforcement authorities or