A biometric identification program backed by the ID2020 alliance will see its new “digital id” program rolled out for refugee newborns in close coordination with a charity tied to Wall Street and prominent Western politicians whose workers have been accused of sexually exploiting refugee children.
iRespond, an international non-profit organization that is “dedicated to using biometrics to improve lives through digital identity,” has begun piloting a new biometric program for newborns among the predominately Karen refugee population along the Myanmar-Thailand border, a program it soon hopes to “quickly deploy” at a greater scale and make available to the general global population. The pilot program is being conducted as part of the controversial ID2020 alliance, backed by Microsoft, the GAVI vaccine alliance and the Rockefeller Foundation, and with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a non-profit organization deeply tied to the Western political elite and Wall Street with a controversial track record of silencing numerous sex abuse and fraud allegations.
The new program, an extension of iRespond’s “voluntary” biometric identification program in the Mae La refugee camp, “will create a record of a birth, attested by a trusted clinic, with a goal of changing the life trajectory for the participants.” Through the program, “a guardianship relationship between the newborn and the mother is established and linked to digital and high security physical identity documents.”
However, iRespond’s CEO, Scott Reid, told Biometric Update that these credentials do “not carry the same weight as a true birth certificate,” but asserts that the organization’s biometric “birth attestation” program “could leapfrog the traditional barriers to establishing identity.” Despite the fact that iRespond’s quasi-birth certificates would seemingly serve little purpose in areas where actual birth certificates are readily available, the organization notes that “once the pilot is completed, iRespond is ready to quickly deploy the solution at scale” for mass use around the globe. “Product development” on adapting their platform for newborns began earlier this year and Reid notes that having an iRespond-provided biometric “birth attestation” will enable “access to vital services such as healthcare, social protection, education and banking.”