UNHCR introduces new refugee ID cards in Malaysia

New cards with enhanced security features aimed at combatting identity fraud, use of counterfeit documentation

UNHCR introduces new refugee ID cards in Malaysia

World Bulletin / News Desk

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has begun issuing new identification cards with enhanced security features for refugees in Malaysia in a bid to combat identity fraud and the use of counterfeit documentation.

UNHCR’s representative to Malaysia, Richard Towle, told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday that the new cards come with a card verification application and advanced features such as 3D holograms and barcodes and a large Secure Quick Response (SQR) code.

"The card [is] also supported by an enhanced biometric data collection at the UNHCR office," he said.

"UNHCR has launched an application named UNHCR VERIFY-MY, to enable law enforcement authorities or others engaged in UNHCR's protection and assistance work to scan the SQR and verify a card's authenticity," he added.

The introduction of the cards comes at a time when several media reports have exposed syndicates offering fake UNHCR cards to illegal immigrants in Malaysia, especially those from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Indonesia.

The syndicates were reportedly operating in capital Kuala Lumpur and other major cities across the country, selling fake cards for up to 170 ringgit ($42) each.

Malaysia currently hosts one of the largest urban refugee populations in the world.

As of 2014, some 146,020 refugees and asylum seekers had been registered with the UNHCR in Malaysia, of which the vast majority -- 135,000 -- are from Myanmar.

The vast majority of them are ethnic Chin, Rohingya and other Myanmar Muslims.

Malaysia had stressed its unwillingness to become party to the UN’s 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol.

The country has remained steadfast against inking the convention, while expressing its commitment to continue extending assistance to refugees from the Middle East and the Rohingya Muslim minority who fled Myanmar.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 21 Haziran 2016, 13:20