The individual data collected during registration provides the comprehensive population data needed for programme planning, including for shelter, food, water, health and sanitation facilities, cash-based interventions and other forms of targeted assistance. Registration data is also an important tool in ensuring the integrity of refugee protection systems and preventing and combating fraud, corruption and crime, including trafficking in persons.

Increasingly, identity documentation is issued by government authorities, even where registration is still carried out by UNHCR. Government-recognised identity documentation can constitute proof of legal identity which is key to the legal, socio-economic and digital inclusion of persons of concern within their host communities. For example, a proof of identity credential, such as an ID card, can facilitate greater freedom of movement in the host country, empower refugees to open bank accounts, register for a SIM card and access online services and opportunities available to citizens everywhere. 

As part of the Global Compact on Refugees, UNHCR has undertaken to share resources and expertise to strengthen national capacity for individual registration and documentation, including support for digitalization, biometrics and other relevant technology, as well as the sharing of quality registration data, disaggregated by age, gender, disability, and diversity, and in line with data protection and privacy principles. 

Registration - links to resources