Mia habits is with the world bank group. And she's giving us a view on identity that is more related to political views and the day to day fears we may have than actually it systems. Please welcome Mia habits.
Thank you very much. So I guess I'm the odd one out here. I am an engineer, but probably very outdated by now. I will be speaking to you from the other side of the digital divide. It let's see. There we go. My work has taken me around the world to about yeah, probably 50 countries and the ones who has the stamps is the one who rules. There are countries where they are more concerned about running out of the utilities for the typewriter than, you know, connecting to the internet. It's not actually an option archiving. This is a picture I took a week ago in a developing nation. Forget about establishing identity from this, you know, or getting a copy of anything, identity management by confirming the
Technology doesn't work. You can use that clicker.
Okay. If this works better, then we'll try with this. So biometrics and authentication, you know, it's being handled in a fairly rudimentary way. I have worked in identity management for a number of years, mainly in Latin America, but the past year for the, as an advisor to the world bank, I'm gonna talk a little bit about the governance behind identity management, as well as forced migration. And actually, what is the starting point for identity management? I know that in this room, you probably understand a whole lot different, the concept of identity management, but in the developing world and looking at identification for development, it is actually the need to establish a unique and legal identity from birth to have access to services and human rights. It all starts with birth registration and to confirm the belongingness of a child first and foremost to the family, but also to society as a whole. And this is really the starting point for governance because without vital statistics and demographic profile, it's very difficult for go government to govern. And governance is also a concept that means a whole lot of different things to a whole lot of different people. But what, in this context, we are looking at it as a practical approach to solve problems at many levels.
When it comes to linking governance and identity management, the best governance models we have seen are those who are person or people centric, it's balancing the right to be with the right to know. And again, it is about accessing services and being able to plan a recent well, not so reason. Couple of years ago, paper, we look have published on the link between birth registration and identity documents, primarily birth certificates. And what we found was that a child in his first 12 months of life with a bird certificate will get about three vaccines, more than a child without a bird certificate in developing nations. This can have catastrophic consequences. And we see it in the resurgence of some of the childhood illnesses that the world health organization thought they had eradicated.
And it's also a planning tool in the sense that if a minister of health doesn't know the size of a given cohort, it is also very difficult to buy. The number of vaccines required. Same for education. If a minister of education doesn't know how many students who many children will be starting in first grade grade, a given year planning becomes impossible. Since last year, I have worked as an advisor to the world bank on their identity for development initiative, a conservative estimate, looking at the available official statistics from 198 economies, a 198 countries shows that there are 1.5 billion individuals without a legal identity, without being able to prove who they are. We consider that this is a very conservative estimate, given that as you can understand, for some of the pictures I showed you, being able to actually measure birth registration is difficult. If not impossible.
In many of the countries we are active in, when it comes to forced migration, the numbers are also mind boggling, the depth, the pace, and the scale of change makes it very hard for current systems, the civil registries, the civil identification systems to actually deal with identification for migrants. And we need to look at, we need to find short term solutions to so people will have an identity, but we also need to try to look at long term strategies to support that support the access to services of benefits for people who are in a situation where they can no longer stay in their home countries.
So in this context, there is a strong need to be able to rapidly and precisely identify individuals. It goes for both the 1.5 billion who are still living in their countries and who cannot get access to rights and benefits. Children who are excluded from health services, children who are excluded from basic educations, individuals who are excluded from voting or representing individuals who are not having the sufficient protection by the legal systems in their countries with migration, both voluntary and forced. There are a multiplication of issues and problems that need to be addressed. And there are organizations looking at how to do it. For instance, the world food program have started using Iris recognition to identify the beneficiaries of food aid in the refugee camps, places where, you know, women cannot show their faces.
New York city has issued an identity card to undocumented individuals in New York city for them to be able to access some services and benefits. But there's also the question when you cross borders who owns the information who manages the information, is it used only to give access to aid or food benefits or eh, conditional cast transfers. This is also a trust issue. And for many who seek to who are leaving their countries, who seek refuge in other places who manages their identity, who has the information can become really a critical issue when it comes to trusting systems and wanting to give up this information, what we have seen and what we have observed. And this is not only happening in Europe today, it is also happening in Africa. It's happening in Asia, it's happening in Latin America.
National governments do not necessarily have the capacity to deal with, be it internally displaced populations or migrants or refugees in Columbia. You have the world's second largest internally displaced population because of the conflict ongoing conflict there. These people do not want to get registered anywhere. In spite of Columbia, also having a very good social security system with access to benefits, access to land ownership, access to all kinds of services for individuals that have been involved in conflicts could access. However, they just don't trust the system enough to want to be registered. So if countries and governments are not able to deal with identity management for the purpose of giving access to rights and benefits, according to the UN human rights declaration of 1948, where it calls for the right to be represented in front of the law or before the law, I'm sorry. And the 1989 UN convention of the rights of a child that calls for the right to a name and the right to a nationality, what can a super national I organization due to help these individuals? Is there a way to find a minimum institutional framework to sort of be able to rapidly respond to a very critical situation? Is there a willingness to ensure financing because whatever you do, it will cost money, identity documents, be it birth certificates or national identity cards can be as unsafe or safe as you, you require them to be. But it does come at the cost. Is there appetite for an international identity bill of rights that will ensure the guarantee your, the privacy, the security, the safety of your personal information?
What about the ones who will fall between two chairs? I can tell you, I have some personal experience with falling between two chairs. My work as a international civil servant has taken me around the world for the past 30 years. My son who is now 26, was unfortunate enough to be born in a country where use Sanny rules. That is he would only be able to get nationality and identity documents if his parents were of that nationality, which they were not. In the meantime, my country of origin changed their citizenship laws with a retroactive implications, which is totally observed as I understand from my legal or lawyer friends. So he actually became stateless. So I've had the opportunity to have to deal with several countries, several institutions to try to rectify his situation. But because I was able to prove that I had never actually immigrated to any country, and he was unfortunate enough to be born when, where he was, he was actually given a citizenship by the us.
So if we are going to look at opportunities for both migrants, internally displaced populations, refugees, the suggestion would be that we try to do use 21st century tools to do this, but also make sure that the governance and legal framework is in place to fully protect people's identity and perhaps do a SWOT analysis of the options that could, could exist. And this goes, not only for the legal registries, I mean a civil registry, civil identification registry, but also functional registers. Be it voting, be it financial services and other applications that might pertain to accessing goods and services and benefits. And by all means authentication is a means not an end. And what we should always keep in mind is that having a legal identity is about having access, having a, the opportunity to live a purposeful and meaningful life and participate in society. So for this, I thank you for your attention so much.
May I indeed, this gives us, I think, a totally different perspective of on what we are working here because the social implications of we work is really recognizable. Thank you so much. I think there's one question that I've seen in the tool. Could you please put it up, please? I identity are we, I remember identity ownership who owns the data from the world's bank point of view. So you mentioned sometimes who owns the data was a question. So do you have an answer?
Well, the world bank doesn't have a point of view on who owns the data. So I am speaking on behalf of myself and not necessarily the world bank. I should also say that the world bank is a service organization. So we, and our main clients are the member countries. So we will work wherever we do within the parameters, legal parameters of the member country on how this is taken or how identity is managed, how this is being handled. But in my personal, from my personal point of view, it should be the individual who controls and owns the identity. Thank you very much.