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Preliminary Report Uganda’s Digital ID System: A Cocktail of Discrimination

– Unwanted Witness

In this report, the Unwanted Witness team share their findings on a survey of Ugandans about the rollout of the country’s digital ID system

The researchers and writers note that between 13-25% of respondents were wary of sharing lots of personal data in order to receive the card. Moreover, in practice, they found a majority of respondents were required to present the national ID to access public services, making it a defacto single identity source in the country.

Problematically, many of those who were required to present national ID to access a public service were denied, as no alternative options were available.

The authors note this application of a singular identity number can be inherently discriminatory:

It is evident that the National ID is slowly becoming the only legally acceptable national identification document, which is sadly limiting the enjoyment of basic fundamental rights in Uganda, and in the process exacerbating exclusion, inequality and discrimination especially among the under privileged members of society.

The authors therefore recommend a review of the National Identity number system by the Ugandan government, civil society and development organizations.

Government, Civil Society actors and development partners should create open space for citizens’ engagement to ensure inclusivity of citizens’ voices in the implementation of the ID system and minimize its negative impact on human rights

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