UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is working together with the Bangladesh government to conduct a verification exercise for the identity management and documentation of Rohingya refugees who have fled Myanmar.
The verification exercise, which is expected to take approximately five to six months to complete, will help to consolidate a unified database for the purposes of identity management, documentation, protection, provision of assistance, population statistics and solutions.
Using biometric data, including iris scans and fingerprints, as well as photographs to confirm individual identities, all refugees over the age of 12 will be provided with identity cards. The credit card-sized plastic ID, containing a number of anti-fraud features, is issued jointly by the Government of Bangladesh and UNHCR and will provide protection and access to assistance in Bangladesh.
“This exercise is a major step forward to establish the legal identity of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar," said Kevin J. Allen, UNHCR Head of Operations in Cox’s Bazar. "It makes clear that the Rohingya exist, that their rights must be respected and that we are committed to laying the foundations for solutions”.
The exercise will involve around 150 UNHCR and partner staff, as well as government officials and community mobilisers. It will cover all of the refugees previously registered by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA), said a press release of UNHCR today.
“This exercise will help the Government and agencies to better plan our assistance, avoid duplication of services, and ensure that all registered families receive help”, said Bangladesh’s Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner, Mohammad Abul Kalam.“It will also contribute to finding solutions”, he added.
The verification is an important milestone in contributing to securing the identity of persons who have fled from Myanmar and are now being generously hosted in Bangladesh.
The verification will also play a key role in verifying the identity of refugees, establishing that they have been displaced from Myanmar, and enabling them to exercise their right to voluntary return to their country when it is safe for them to do so.