Press Release: More Than Half a Million Rohingya Refugees Receive Identity Documents, Most for the First Time

Thursday, August 15, 2019

As of Wednesday, more than 500,000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar have been registered in a joint registration exercise by the Bangladesh authorities and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.

For many of these refugees, it is the first time they have an identity card. The biometric, fraud-proof cards are being issued jointly by Bangladeshi authorities and UNHCR to all verified refugees over the age of 12.

This comprehensive registration being simultaneously carried out in all refugee settlements in Cox’s Bazar – is meant to ensure the accuracy of data on refugees in Bangladesh, giving national authorities and humanitarian partners a better understanding of the population and their needs. Accurate data will help agencies in their programme planning and be able to target assistance where it is needed most, particularly for people with specific needs, such as women and children taking care of their families and people with disabilities.

Last week, using the biometric data collected during this registration exercise, UNHCR launched the Global Distribution Tool (GDT) initially in one of the refugee settlements in Cox’s Bazar. Through verification of fingerprints or iris scans, this tool speeds up distributions, is fraud proof, and can be used by partners to ensure that there is no overlap in assistance, and to ensure that nobody is left out. It continues to be rolled out in more settlements in the coming weeks.

Photo courtesy of UN Women.

Source: Press release (link opens in a new window)

data, digital identity, refugees