Civil registry as the driver for the UN sustainability goals

22/10/20

This week, the United Nations celebrates its 75th anniversary. UN Day on October 24th is a reminder to review the status of the Sustainable Development Goals, which include the effort to provide all people with a legal identity by 2030. Because access to health services and public aid is based on legal identity, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of this goal. For this reason, there is a strong need for identity management tools including a trusted civil registry as offered by Veridos, a leading global provider of identity solutions.

Only ten years remain to achieve the transformation of the world. In the Decade of Action, sustainable solutions must be found for the world's greatest challenges: poverty, climate change and inequality. The clock is also ticking for UN sustainability goal 16.9, which states that every human being should have a legal identity by 2030. With only ten years to go, this is a challenging task, as the World Bank estimates that around one billion people currently do not have any form of legal identity. Among them are almost 237 million children under the age of five without birth certificates.

To record births correctly, a reliable registration system is required. In addition, a vital statistics solution should be applied to analyze population trends, which is fundamental for efficient demographic management. Both aspects are covered by an efficient Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) system.

The advantages of comprehensive registration are obvious for citizens and countries alike, and have been highlighted during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Only after being registered does a person officially begin to exist: he or she receives a legal identity and citizenship. This not only means belonging to a country; it also enables access to services such as health care, humanitarian assistance, and financial aid. Identity allows individuals to exercise their rights and duties in society, such as the right to vote and inherit.

Because Veridos' core business is based on secure identities, its solutions provide crucial support for setting up civil registry and CRVS systems. The range of solutions, which is particularly relevant in the context of the “legal identity” sustainability goal, includes the standard platform IMAGO. IMAGO helps to collect and manage citizens’ data and allows the personalization of sovereign identity documents such as birth certificates, passports, identity cards, visas, and  driver’s licenses.

“If a country wants to provide a secure identity solution to its citizens, it has to invest in a modern, digitized civil registry system," emphasizes Andreas Räschmeier, CEO of Veridos. "Every newborn should have the right and opportunity to be registered in order to gain access to all the Government services they might need. Ultimately, well-functioning CRVS systems are the crucial elements for a comprehensive identity management system throughout a person’s life, from birth onward.”

Veridos has already successfully completed projects in the CRVS environment. In the Republic of Iraq, for example, Veridos introduced highly secure national eID cards based on a reliable, consistent national register, which today forms Iraq's strong eID backbone. While implementing the project, Veridos digitized all relevant old Iraqi records (hand-written family books) so that no information was lost. The transition from a paper-based to an electronic system, as well as the modernization of the national register and the NID (National Identification) system, means that the country is well equipped to meet current and future requirements in the field of identity verification. More than 15 Million eID cards have been issued to Iraqi Citizens. The government is planning to continue issuing eID cards as a basis for offering eGovernment services to citizens.

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