Photo: / Faid Elgziry

In Kenya, Thousands Left in Limbo Without ID Cards

– Coda Story

Inaccuracies in national data are causing some Kenyan citizens to become legally stateless

In this piece, Keren Weitzberg explores the factors that have led some Kenyan citizens to be excluded from the national ID program, rendering them stateless.

In the early 1990s, a large number of Somali Kenyan citizens falsely registered themselves as refugees in order to access food aid. As a result, they are now unable to apply for the Kenyan national ID.

“Over the past decade, tens of thousands of ethnic Somali Kenyans who have applied for a Kenyan national ID have been turned away on the grounds that they were already registered as refugees.”

Weitzberg goes on to consider the pitfalls of NGOs like the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) passing biometric data on to host countries, potentially leading to discriminatory practices.

The problem of double registration in Kenya highlights the pitfalls of humanitarian biometrics

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