When people are forced to flee their homes to escape war, persecution or violence, the registration and documentation by States or by UNHCR can be lifesaving.
States carry the primary responsibility for registering and providing documentation to new arrivals on their territory. However, in some situations and countries UNHCR may take on an operational support role, particularly in situations of mass influx. This can include carrying out safe and secure registration on behalf of or jointly with the host country, sometimes also together with other registration partners, facilitating the collection of quality data, strengthening the integrity of processes and ensuring that the dignity of those forced to flee is upheld throughout their time in displacement.
With the different actors engaged in registration and the multitude of scenarios in mind, UNHCR is pleased to announce the launch of its new Guidance on Registration and Identity Management.
The Guidance is intended as a resource and repository for good practice for all UNHCR staff as well as governments and other partners involved in registration. It’s the product of nearly three years of consultation with registration colleagues in both field operations and at headquarters and significantly expands upon the provisional Handbook for Registration that was first issued in 2003. The new Guidance currently covers registration and identity management activities for asylum-seekers and refugees and doesn’t currently include enrolment of internally displaced people or other populations of concern to UNHCR.
The Guidance is intended as a resource and repository for good practice for all UNHCR staff as well as governments and other partners involved in registration.
The Guidance is an online tool; no paper version has been produced. As such, it is a ‘living document’, and will be continuously updated and revised over time in light of future policies and practices relevant to UNHCR’s work in registration and identity management. Topics such as digital identity and digital inclusion will be incorporated as it becomes available.
The new Guidance is the place to go to for updated advice and best practice on all aspects relating to registration and identity management. This covers planning, preparing, communicating and implementing registration, in the context of an emergency, during continuous registration or for a verification exercise. It also provides guidance on how to best protect and work with the personal data collected through these activities for operational planning, protection and assistance management.
The Guidance also contains a repository of tools, forms, documentation, models and templates with the aim of supporting the daily work of registration colleagues in the field. These can be found in the annexes section.
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