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CSOs call for full integration of human rights in the deployment of digital ID systems

Governments around the world are moving rapidly towards digital identification systems. These schemes can make public services more efficient, but they can also jeopardize the right to privacy and exacerbate systemic discrimination.

Civil society organizations are playing critical roles to ensure identification initiatives reflect the lived experiences of the people most affected by these systems and respect human rights.

Access Now, Namati, and the Open Society Justice Initiative co-organized a virtual Civil Society Organization (CSO) consultation in August 2020 that brought together over 60 civil society organizations from across the world for dialogue with the World Bank’s ID4D Initiative and other institutions that endorse the Principles on Identification for Sustainable Development. The Principles provide one of the few attempts at global standard-setting for the development of digital identification systems across the world.

The consultation focused on listening to civil society feedback on the text of the Principles as well as dialogue around the roles of International Organizations (IOs) and civil society organizations in developing rights-respecting digital identity programs.

This new report provides a high-level summary of the discussions at the consultation meeting from the perspectives of the civil society participants, including key themes and recommendations such as:

We look forward to further dialogue and engagement with the World Bank’s ID4D Initiative and other promoters of digital identification systems in order to ensure these Principles are rigorously applied in practice. With a focus on human rights, it can be possible to create trusted, inclusive, secure, and rights-respecting identification systems that genuinely reflect the perspectives and needs of all people.

Read the press release

Read the report


December 17, 2020 | Access Now, AfroLeadership, Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (ADC), Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), Derechos Digitales, Development and Justice Initiative Digital Welfare State and Human Rights Project, NYU Law School, Haki na Sheria Initiative, Human Rights Advocacy and Research Foundation (HRF), Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business (MCRB), Namati

Region: > Global