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ID16.9 podcast launched by Biometric Update to track the race for universal legal identity

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ID16.9 podcast launched by Biometric Update to track the race for universal legal identity
 

A new podcast has been launched by Biometric Update to explore the global race to meet the United Nation’s goal of providing legal identity to all people around the world, within the next eight years.

United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 16 is to “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.” Under that goal, Target 16.9 specifies that one of the ways to do that is to “By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration.”

The indicator chosen for this target is the “proportion of children under 5 years of age whose births have been registered with a civil authority.”

Frank Hersey hosts ID16.9, interviewing representatives from international development agencies, governments, civil society and populations in need of trustworthy, usable legal identity. Hersey is an editor and reporter at Biometric Update, focused on initiatives to provide good identity for all.

“Identity affects every aspect of life, which is why the United Nations sees legal identity as such an important enabler for so many of its goals,” Hersey explains. “While we see so much progress and development for digital ID and biometrics with our reporting at Biometric Update, we realised that the basis of so much of this – legal identity – is not keeping up. We wanted to explore the impact on the 1 in 8 people worldwide who have no way of formally proving who they are. As this affects daily life for so many people, in rich and poor countries, we decided to use a podcast to hear from individuals as well as the organisations trying ensure everyone has ID. Whether or not that’s by 2030.”

The first episodes of ID16.9 delve into what legal identity is and why it is needed, why it was chosen among the SDGs, and how every person in the world may be able to get one. The impact of legal identity on the lives of regular people, the role of birth and death registration in public records, and technologies that can help people gain legal identity are discussed in detail. Podcast listeners can hear from expert guests and people in affected communities about how close the world is to achieving universal legal identity.

ID16.9 will also examine progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal, the stakeholders working towards it, and what needs to change to ensure that every person in the world can prove who they are.

“The digital identity community and civil society have done a good job of shedding light on issues related to exclusion from identity systems,” says Biometric Update Managing Editor Chris Burt. “However, the real challenges and problems that people face in being recognized by institutions so that they can exercise their rights are still not adequately understood, and discussion about how to meet those challenges is urgently needed. We invite all stakeholders to join us in that conversation.”

The first three episodes are available online now, through the ID16.9 website, Spotify, and other popular platforms. New episodes will be released regularly, so subscribe or check back often to hear the latest.

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