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Swiss startup Procivis to give digital IDs to Rohingya via blockchain
Procivis, a Switzerland-based digital identity platform, is collaborating with the Rohingya Project NGO in order to provide digital IDs to Rohingya people, the world’s biggest stateless minority.
According to the Rohingya Project, there are an estimated 3.5 million Rohingya across the globe, with the majority living outside their home country, Myanmar. They have been subjected to abuse for a number of years, particularly after the enactment of the Burma Citizenship Law in 1982, which officially left Rohingya stateless.
“Being a Rohingya myself, I know what it means to belong to a stateless population first-hand. For our people, a secure digital identity isn’t just something nice to have – it’s an urgent necessity. If such an identity would have been in place when the Rohingya became stateless in 1982, our community wouldn’t have to face many of the struggles it is facing today,” Muhammad Noor, co-founder and managing director of the Rohingya Project, said.
In December 2017, the Rohingya Project announced its plans to tap into the potential of blockchain technology to issue individual digital IDs to people after properly verifying that they are genuine Rohingya. It said at the time that the first 1,000 people to get these IDs in 2018 would be Rohingya members in Malaysia, Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia.
Under the partnership, Procivis will supply its eID+, a blockchain-secured electronic identity platform, and combine it with the Rohingya Project’s unique verification process, to provide the Rohingya population with a trusted personal identity.
“It’s great to see how our technology can help solve some of the pressing issues the Rohingya face today. I have a high regard for the work of the Rohingya Project and applying our solution in this context will allow us to gain valuable experience with implementing electronic identity solutions for populations who can’t count on a trusted government-issued identity,” Procivis founder and CEO Daniel Gasteiger said.