IOM, the UN Migration Agency, on 19-20 February 2019, supported the National Registration Bureau (NRB) to plan for community barazas to create awareness on the National Identity Registration in Lunga Lunga, Kwale County (the border with Tanzania) and in Tezo, Kilifi County. The activities reached more than 500 residents. IOM has been a partner of the Kenya government in promoting safe migration including legal identity requirements.
A legal identity documentation is a pathway to enjoying other basic human rights such as education, health, political participation, free movement of persons, access to services, business and trade among others. However, the level of public awareness about the rights and benefits associated with obtaining legal identity documents is still low in Kenya’s remote areas as reflected by the needs assessment for national identity management in Kenya completed by IOM and NRB in 2018. These findings influenced the joint efforts by IOM and NRB to sensitize the general public on obtaining genuine ID documents through the legitimate process.
Mr. Kenneth Nduati, NRB Deputy Director, said,
“National Identity plays an important role in the security, social, economic and political development of Kenya. I thank IOM for the partnership with NRB to reach out to the communities to sensitize them on the need for acquiring identification. There are still many gaps that need to be addressed in the near future.”
In Kilifi, Mr. Litabul Kochale the Officer Commanding Police Station (OCS) informed the residents about the security risks associated with forged, counterfeited or fraudulently obtained documents such as identity fraud.
Discussions at the community gatherings increased the participants understanding on the importance and benefits of acquiring and possessing a genuine ID for community members and their families including the application processes. Community members shared their feedback after the baraza, they now recognize the necessity of the National ID which include: to prove your Kenyan citizenship, to participate in formal job markets, to get access to financial services such as formal banking and mobile banking services as well as security. Community members also applied for their IDs onsite during the meeting with the NRB mobile registration facility.
A legal identity is a national priority as it is included in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) such as 16.9, to “provide legal identity for all, including birth registration,” and it is connected to other SDGs like reducing poverty, financial inclusion, gender equality as well as SDG 10.7 to “facilitate orderly, safe, and responsible migration and mobility of people.”
These community barazas were supported under the project on “Strengthening the Capacity of the Government of Kenya to Manage National Identity Programmes” funded by the IOM Development Fund. This project started in 2017, and provided support to the Government of Kenya through needs assessments, capacity building training and public awareness activities on identity management.
For further information, please contact the IOM Kenya Public Information team: iomkenyaPI@iom.int. ©IOM 2019. All rights reserved.