International Identity Day has surpassed 75 partner organizations as it continues its initial outreach efforts to establish the project’s place on the global agenda. The proposal for official globally recognition of September 16 as International Identity Day was launched in April at ID4Africa 2019 in Abuja, Nigeria, where a petition supporting the call gained more than 1500 signatures in three days. The coalition of groups endorsing ID Day reached 40 in September, and has nearly doubled since then, with the number of organizations representing African nations making up roughly half.
Biometric Update reached out to several participating organizations for their thoughts on the progress and importance of the proposed International Identity Day.
“Designating Sept. 16 as International Identity Day recognizes the role that Good ID plays in poverty alleviation and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Without a legal ID, people are basically guaranteed a life of poverty,” says Thea Anderson, policy director at philanthropic investment firm Omidyar Network. “If we want to truly escape hunger, disease, illiteracy, gender inequality, and other global challenges, we need a way to prove who we are and to engage in the daily transactions that power our economy and society, like travel, trade, taxes, and trust. Legal identification is required for children to enroll in school and complete national exams; youth to enter university and secure good jobs; and for everyone to gain a bank account, mobile phone, passport, access to government buildings, medical care, and a vote.