Mozambique: Government Issues ID Cards to Internally Displaced Persons

The Mozambican government, in cooperation with the European Union (EU), Germany, and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), has started to register internally displaced citizens in the northern province of Cabo Delgado.

Since October 2017, raids by jihadist terrorists in Cabo Delgado have left over 800,000 people displaced from their homes. While fleeing from insecurity or natural disasters, thousands of people lost their documentation. This poses a risk to already vulnerable migrants and internally displaced populations, exposing them to other challenges such as restricted freedom of movement, harassment, family separation, discrimination, gender-based violence, or risk of statelessness, and hinders access to basic services.

The Head of the Governance and Microeconomics Team of the EU delegation, Alicia Martin-Diaz, stated that “registration and birth certificates are a fundamental human right”. According to Martin-Diaz, “initiating this process for internally displaced persons is an essential step in enabling them to access other official documents, such as identity cards, which open doors to their rights as citizens, and basic services such as education, employment, health, and access to land.”

Mozambique has a low rate of civil registration. Only 55 per cent of people have a birth certificate and only 38 per cent have an identity card.

In the areas of origin of these displaced people, most of the physical archives of legal identity documents were destroyed during attacks by the jihadists. To reconstitute these files and enable the displaced population and host communities to obtain civil documentation, the Ministry of Justice, in collaboration with IOM, plans to register 10,000 people in Balama district over a three-month period.

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