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May 20, 2015

Biometric tech to help refugees reclaim lost identities

UN High Commissioner for Refugees will deploy Accenture's Biometric Identity Management System globally.


Accenture has been signed by the United Nations to help register and verify the identities of displaced people around the world.

The three year contract will see the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees deploy Accenture’s Biometric Identity Management System across its global operations.

The system works by capturing and storing fingerprints, iris data, and facial images of individuals so that those who are often undocumented can be provided with their own personal identity record.

The technology is already being used at refugee camp locations in Thailand and Chad, with the deployment in Chard meaning that formal identification of 450,000 people will be able to take place.

Steven Corliss, UNHCR’s director of Program and Management Support, said: "Fleeing across borders, refugees often leave documentation behind, lose it along the way or have it confiscated by authorities."

"With Accenture‘s Biometric Identity Management System, we are using advanced technology to secure and preserve the identity of refugees from the time they register with UNHCR until they find a solution by returning home, integrating in the country where they have found protection, or resettling in a new country."

BIMS uses the Unique Identity Service Platform which works with UNHCR’s existing case management system. It links with verification stations and a central biometric data base in Geneva.

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Ger Daly, MD, Accenture‘s global Public Safety business, said: "This is a great example of how we use digital innovation to improve peoples’ lives and make a real difference in the world. By applying emerging technologies in biometrics capture and large-scale identity matching, BIMS will help UNHCR register and identify refugees and channel the delivery of aid to those people most in need."

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