Right to identity and security

The right to identity discourse needs to take another dimension in developing countries like Kenya. We all agree that everyone has the right to identity and registration, but what is the motive behind the registration? In the colonial era it was all around securing labor force and taxation and with independence the dynamics have shifted to security.

In Kenya, the registration is more focused on the national security than the right to identity. People register with the intent of belonging whereas the state registers with the intent of tracking criminals. This is why the fingerprints of an individual is key in registration. This has led to many quarry workers remaining unregistered due to the nature of their work. The workers lose their fingerprints due to the nature of their work and cannot register to get ID cards or even register to vote. This story should shape the way we discuss about the right to identity. @Lore @Purity_Wadegu @krithikadinesh @kanchikohli @lauragoodwin

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Do any official alternatives to fingerprints already exist for ID card applications in Kenya? For example, a footprint or an eye scan? Paralegals in Nairobi have had clients with similar challenges - any insight on how to overcome this challenge @zena @yasahkym @Naima_Rajab?

What alternatives have been used in other countries and were they national or local alternatives? @platong @laurabingham @Juves @urdu @safialabi @laccnepal @fernando Were these alternatives already written in the law or regulations, or did it require advocacy based on people’s experiences to find additional options for legal identity document applications? In that advocacy, did government resist - and was the pushback on grounds of security, administrative burden, or other reasons?

I’m interested to know what we can learn from elsewhere for the Kenya case!