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Nepal Parliamentary Committee mandates use of biometrics to identify unclaimed bodies

digital identity biometric registration

The Ministry of Home Affairs of Nepal has been instructed to speed up the issuance of biometric ID cards and complete the establishment of the biometric system for the identification of abandoned or unclaimed bodies lying in morgues across the country.

This recommendation was made by the Committee on State Affairs and Good Governance of the country’s Parliament during a recent meeting with Home Affairs Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa to discuss the worrying phenomenon, according to The Himalayan Times.

The Committee said the number of unclaimed bodies in the country, which currently stands at 1,089, according to Home Affairs Ministry statistics, can be significantly reduced with the use of a fingerprint or iris recognition system.

The Himalayan Times quoted the Parliamentary panel as suggesting that the Home Affairs Ministry keep the biometric records of unidentified or unclaimed bodies linked to serious crimes for up to 20 years.

“The Committee urges the government to formulate and implement the Unclaimed Bodies Management Guidelines whereby provisions are stipulated with regard to management of unclaimed or unidentified bodies,” read a portion of the Committee’s decision.

The Committee also gave other directives related to the inconsistency of data on unidentified and unclaimed bodies being furnished by the district government attorney’s office, district hospitals and the police service, insisting that the Ministry should “…make provision for disclosure of uniformed and consolidated data in coordination with the agencies concerned.”

In a bid to enable the smooth disclosure of such information and data related to unidentified and unclaimed bodies kept in hospitals, a special webpage will be set up on the website of the Nepal Police, and biometrics collected from all bodies before they are disposed of, the report says.

The Nepalese government in January leveraged its digital ID enrollment efforts with the launch of a national government service app as part of the Digital Nepal Framework project.

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