UNHCR Population Registration and Identity Management EcoSystem, PRIMES was officially launched in October in the Kingdom of Lesotho, by the Minister of Home Affairs.

 

The PRIMES equipment is formally handed over to the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho – © Ministry of Home Affairs of the Kingdom of Lesotho

 

All the core components of the PRIMES ecosystem were deployed: proGres v4, the revamped version of the UN Refugee Agency’s refugee registration and case management system as well as the Rapid Application (RApp) its off-line solution and the Biometric Identity Management System or BIMS which collect and manage biometric data to preserve and secure unique identities over time.

Biometric enrolment of new arrivals and registration in RApp will be now part of continuous registration activities in the Kingdom which is currently hosting 119 refugees and asylum seekers.

To mark this innovative new process, Minister of Home Affairs Tsukutlane Au delivered a public speech at the Refugee Coordinating Unit, the office tasked to protect refugees and asylum seekers in Lesotho.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Distinguished Guests,

Members of the media

Ladies and Gentleman

It is my singular honour and privilege to receive this generous gift of Population Registration and Identity Management Eco System (PRIMES) on behalf of the Lesotho Government and on my own behalf as the Minister of Home Affairs. This is a tool which encompasses all United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) registration, identity and case management, the objective of which is to provide refugees and other forcefully displaced persons with a digital identity that allows their access to digital services and, thus, better socio-economic inclusion.

The integrity, efficiency and effectiveness of protection, assistance and solutions programmes is highly dependent on the accuracy with which persons of concern are identified and their identity data managed and we are looking forward to see how to include them in our NCRS.

Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen,

The world is experiencing complex movements of persons including that of refugees and asylum seekers. This brings positive impacts at time in terms of development in the form of remittances and skills transfer but at the same time poses threats to national security of states. This therefore calls for the need for states to be vigilant as to who enters our borders and this necessitates states and all partners to work together to protect homelands and Lesotho is not an exception. At the same time, the new system will protect the identities of the PoC, avoiding that one individual identity can be stolen.

This is why we are so thankful to UNHCR for having donated this important tool which will go a long way in addressing some security challenges of the past. The Refugee Status Determination (RSD) will be informed by a more reliable information in the bio-metric data. This will also assist in curbing the secondary movements of refugees in our region and there assist in finding durable solution to the plight of refugees in Africa.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The issue of security is of paramount importance in the world today as you are all aware that the world has globalised. This is important for various reasons which include, among others international relations, trade, investments and even exchange programmes. Security features prominently in the United Nations (UN), the African Union (AU) as well as within SADC Structures.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho is and has always enjoyed cordial relationship with UNHCR. This dates back to the era of apartheid when Lesotho hosted quiet a huge number of refugees from the apartheid South Africa. This relationship continued despite the hazards especially from those who were pursuing these refugees as epitomised by the massacre of those refugees as well as dozens of Basotho in the fateful year of 1982.

In Conclusion, I wish to assure you all that we are not in any way trying and/or attempting to securitise the issue of migration. Rather, we believe that migration is an enabler for development hence the need for its proper management for the benefit of all.

I thank you all.

Khotso. Pula .Nala