Swiss digital identity platform Procivis has teamed with the Rohingya Project NGO in order to provide digital IDs to 3.5 million Rohingya people displaced from Myanmar.
The Rohingya, whom experts say are one of the most persecuted minorities in the world, are a stateless Indo-Aryan people from Rakhine State, Myanmar. The plight of the Rohingya has been worsened as a result of a Myanmar (then Burma) government decree in 1982, which effectively excluded the minority population from holding citizenship or official state documentation. There are an estimated 3.5 million Rohingya across the globe, with the majority living outside their home country.
Lacking any official documentation, Rohingya people often find it impossible to access government services and integrate into society. At the root of the problem lies the lack of a recognized identity, which serves as an access key to financial and public services.
In December 2017, the Rohingya Project announced its plans to tap into the potential of blockchain technology to issue individual digital IDs to people after properly verifying that they are genuine Rohingya. To verify the identity of these people, the Rohingya Project developed a five-step identification process.
As part of the partnership with Procivis, the five-step identification process will be integrated with Procivis’ eID+, a blockchain-secured electronic identity platform, to form a trusted electronic identity solution for the Rohingya population.
The electronic identity solution will serve as the key to access the services offered by the Rohingya Project. These include a digital financial platform to make financial services accessible to the community and vocational training to help Rohingya people enter the labor market.
“Being a Rohingya myself, I know what it means to belong to a stateless population first-hand,” said Muhammad Noor, co-founder and managing director of the Rohingya Project. “For our people, a secure digital identity isn’t just something nice to have – it’s an urgent necessity. If such an identity would have been in place when the Rohingya became stateless in 1982, our community wouldn’t have to face many of the struggles it is facing today.”
“It’s great to see how our technology can help solve some of the pressing issues the Rohingya face today,” said Procivis founder and CEO Daniel Gasteiger said. “I have a high regard for the work of the Rohingya Project and applying our solution in this context will allow us to gain valuable experience with implementing electronic identity solutions for populations who can’t count on a trusted government-issued identity.”