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Chased Away and Left to Die: How a National Security Approach to Uganda’s National Digital ID Has Led to Wholesale Exclusion of Women and Older Persons

– CHR&GJ

After seven months of interviews with citizens, this report from the Digital Welfare State and Human Rights Project, the Initiative for Social and Economic Rights, and Unwanted Witness, finds Uganda's digital identity system inherently exclusionary

In Uganda, the national digital identity system, otherwise known as Ndaga Muntu, is mandatory in order to vote, travel, obtain a mobile device, access health care, social benefits, and a bank account. However, the system is failing to serve all citizens, and as such, people are being completely locked out of vital services.

"Obtaining a national digital ID is described as 'a nightmare'... the report estimates that as many as one third (33%) of Uganda’s adult population has not yet received a National Identity Card (NIC), a number that may even be rising."

Now that the government is announcing it will be needed to access a Covid-19 vaccine, people are urging legislators to change its mandatory status due to its failure to be equitable - as well as the detrimental impact it is having on the lives of Ugandan citizens.

The report by the collective of human rights organizations shows a much darker picture of exclusion, missed opportunities, and significant financial costs

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