It is a well-worn scene. At a border between countries, the official questions the traveller and demands to see identification. Yet what questions actually get asked? What happens when the traveller is already inside the country? What happens when travellers are fleeing war and persecution, sometimes in their millions?
As Dragana Kaurin, author of this paper, explains in her introduction:
In this ethnographic study which encompasses experiences of refugees and asylum seekers in Greece, Spain, Germany, and Italy, Kaurin explores and establishes the many ways in which refugees are identified through their journeys, how the data is collected and stored, who has control over this data, and where the balance of power lies.
Kaurin offers seven clear and helpful recommendations to anyone engaged in identity work in humanitarian settings with an emphasis on transparency, human-centered design, legal frameworks, and reciprocity.