4 April 2018, Zurich – Swiss e-government venture Procivis and non-governmental organisation the Rohingya Project have announced a partnership to enable financial and social inclusion for the 3.5 million Rohingya people living across the world. As part of the collaboration, Procivis will supply its eID+ platform and combine it with the Rohingya Project’s unique verification process, to provide the stateless Rohingya population with a trusted personal identity.
As a stateless people, an estimated 3.5 million Rohingya face exclusion and persecution across the world. Lacking any official documentation, these people often find it impossible to access government services and integrate into society. At the root of the problem lies the lack of a recognised identity, which serves as an access key to financial and public services.
To verify the identity of Rohingya people, the Rohingya Project has developed a unique and robust five-step identification process. As part of the collaboration announced today, this process will be integrated with Procivis’ established eID+ platform to form a trusted electronic identity solution for the Rohingya population. For Procivis, the partnership marks its first non-profit initiative in support of the company’s broader vision to enable universal access to a secure digital identity.
So far, the Rohingya Project has been building a digital financial platform to make financial services accessible to the community. It is also offering vocational training to help people enter the labour market and organises workshops and social activities. The electronic identity solution the Rohingya Project is implementing together with Procivis will serve as the key to access most of these services.
Procivis founder and CEO Daniel Gasteiger said: “It’s great to see how our technology can help solve some of the pressing issues the Rohingya face today. 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."
Muhammad Noor, co-founder and managing director of the Rohingya Project said: “Being a Rohingya myself, I know what it means to belong to a stateless population first-hand. 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. We’re excited that Procivis is supporting our cause by offering us access to their trusted technology and works with us to share our insights for the benefit of other humanitarian missions."
Procivis is a Swiss venture founded in autumn 2016 by blockchain entrepreneur Daniel Gasteiger. The company offers a blockchain-secured electronic identity platform, called eID+, to enable trusted e-government services for digital societies. Procivis has implemented the pilot version of its eID+ platform together with the Swiss Canton of Schaffhausen in December 2017.
The Rohingya Project is a grassroots initiative targeting a central issue the Rohingya diaspora face as a result of statelessness: financial exclusion. Many second and third generation stateless Rohingya live on the margins in their host societies and encounter significant obstacles in generating a livelihood and keeping themselves out of poverty. The goal of the Project is to connect these Rohingya to opportunities to learn, equip and empower themselves and the wider Rohingya diaspora through technology and empowerment.