Jamaica digital ID to enhance social inclusion of vulnerable persons – Biometric Update

One of the objectives of Jamaica’s digital ID program (the National Identification System — NIDS) is to promote inclusion by making it possible for people with different forms of disability to easily access a variety of social services.
Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister Hon. Floyd Green gave this assurance while speaking on a radio network program earlier this month, reports the Jamaica Information Service (JIS). The minister answered questions for callers live on the program.
Green said one of the missions of the NIDS is to better identify members of the disability community and to fight social exclusion by improving the welfare of vulnerable people in that community such as the elderly, the homeless and the physically and mentally disadvantaged.
According to Green, ID cards issued to this category of persons will bear a ‘disability symbol’ to make them easily identifiable. He said for instance, someone holding an ID with a disability symbol on it would find it easier obtaining a parking sticker to allow the use of designated parking spaces.
With the NIDS, it will also be easier for Jamaicans to get access to social benefits like payments under the Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH) overseen by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, he added.
To make the identification of people of the disability community succeed, the Minister says the government is working with the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities. “They are going to be working with us in terms of getting their database that they already have signed up under the national identification system [for us] to be able to put on that symbol, to make it easier,” he said as quoted by JIS.
Green, during the same radio program, also disclosed that all Jamaicans living abroad will be able to register online for the digital ID.
The online pre-enrolment is what will give applicants a schedule on when to travel to the country for the capture of their facial and fingerprint biometrics, according to Jamaica Gleaner.
Supporting documents such as birth and marriage certificates and proof of address will be required for the online application which can be tracked using a reference number to be issued upon successful completion of the process, the outlet notes.
The Jamaican government believes there is huge public support for the digital ID program after a call for 300 volunteers for a post-technical phase pilot exceeded the threshold in just 24 hours.
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