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Library Identification in the Context of Forced Displacement

Identification in the Context of Forced Displacement

Identification in the Context of Forced Displacement
Identification for Development

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Date of publication
May 2016
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Lack of identity documents is an important obstacle to the protection of people forced to leave their homes by conflict, persecution, or natural disaster. At the most basic level, a person lacking identity documents cannot travel through the legal channels. Lack of identification can make people more vulnerable to trafficking, for example by making it more difficult to prove a person’s age or family relationships. Those who lack identity documents may face greater difficulties proving their entitlement to nationality or to refugee status. The absence of fair and effective processes for registration and identification places displaced persons at the risk of exploitation and exclusion. Access to essential public services will be limited. Children are at risk of becoming stateless because of difficulties in accessing birth registration and because the rules and practices in place may prevent them from acquiring the nationality either of (one of) their parents or of the country of birth. Poorly implemented identification systems may even put displaced people at greater risk. If registration and identification procedures are not properly carried out, people who qualify to be recognized as refugees or stateless. Persons, or as nationals, may be subject to immigration detention and deportation to a country where they are in danger, or to illegal exploitation where they are. Weak identification systems can make it difficult for displaced persons and their children to reunite, to repatriate after crises have ended, and to reclaim land and property that they left behind. Robust identification and registration systems for displaced people also mitigate the disruptive impacts of rapid influxes of refugees for governments, and assist planning to respond to the needs of the displaced populations.

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Manby, Bronwen

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