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Why we celebrate International Identity Day



Today we celebrate International Identity Day at HSB. Although you might not have heard about International Identity day before, we are happy to know that you are reading this now. Hopefully, reading this post can be your first step in  understanding the importance of this day and might even inspire you to start celebrating this day yourself.

International Identity Day has been around since 2018 and is initiated by ID4Africa, an NGO that accompanies African nations on their journeys to develop robust and responsible identity ecosystems. They decided to celebrate this day on the 16th of September each year as to be a reference to the UN Sustainable development Goal 16.9:

“By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration.”

The main purpose of this day is to raise awareness about the important role of legal identity in empowering individuals to exercise their rights and responsibilities fairly and equitably in a modern society. Moreover, this is a perfect moment for people all over the world to reflect on the fact that still more than 1 billion people across the world do not have basic proof of identity*.

This is why we think it is important to celebrate International Identity Day. Not only because of the 1 billion people who lack basic proof, but also because there are many more people who have identity documents that are insecure or untrusted by service providers or live in countries where identification systems are unsuited for digitalization.

Legal identity is a birth right and not a privilege. Here, at HSB Identification, we work hard every day to ensure legal identity is accessible for everyone. We create solutions to help people around the world to identify themselves and enable them to exercise their rights to cross borders, vote, apply for a loan, use health care and receive education. Today we celebrate the progress we have made over the last 25 years and reflect on how we can become even better in creating more inclusive identity systems to close the gap of billions and reach the sustainable development goal. We are in this together, so we will do this together.

Happy International Identity Day everyone!

* source: Worldbank 2021