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The Biometrics Institute and IOM jointly deliver good-practices for biometrics to over 160 staff from IOM Missions from around the world

15 November 2018 – Sydney / London: The Biometrics Institute and IOM, the UN Migration Agency, organised a joint webinar “Understanding Biometrics: Good-practices for Implementing Biometric Systems” on 13 November 2018. The event relied on Biometrics Institute expert speakers and attracted over 160 participants from IOM Missions round the world.

The webinar provided an opportunity to discuss the main principles of successful implementation of biometrics systems and highlighted the responsible use of biometrics, including ensuring privacy and data protection. It provided better understanding about challenges that IOM Missions in the field when implementing projects with a biometric component – and access to technical knowledge and international specifications.
“Since concluding our Memorandum of Understanding in 2017, IOM and the Biometrics Institute have been expanding a mutually beneficial cooperation agenda,” said Florian Forster, Head of IOM Immigration and Border Management Division. “For IOM, the Biometrics Institute offers access to world-class technical expertise and guidance materials. IOM’s global programming helps to expand the geographic coverage of BI engagement and provides reality checks from the field, lessons learned from applying biometric technologies in challenging locations where IOM provides technical assistance.” 
The webinar reached out to over 160 staff from IOM Missions in 38 countries including a range of countries across Western and Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, such as Armenia, Belarus, Chad, Congo, Ethiopia, Iraq, Kuwait, Moldova, Nepal, Rwanda, Sudan, Thailand, Uganda and Vietnam.

“One of the pillars of the Institute’s strategy is to provide a platform for independent information and education for the responsible use of biometrics”, explains Isabelle Moeller, Chief Executive of Biometrics Institute, “this collaboration with IOM is a huge success in providing good-practice guidance to regions where we are not able to physically be present.”
The Biometrics Institute-IOM MoU, signed in September 2017, outlines the scope of the intended cooperation and the priority areas of interest to both entities. It aids the two institutions’ efforts to address new and emerging challenges in a more coordinated way, such as how to use biometrics to better balance facilitation and security requirements, ensure better accessibility to safe transport modes for migrants and refugees, harness the benefits of biometrics to increase safe and regular international cross border mobility and address health challenges linked to international mobility.

Biometrics Institute is the independent and impartial international membership organisation for biometric users and other interested parties. It was established in 2001 to promote the responsible use of biometrics. It provides its members and key stakeholders with thought-leadership and guidance as well as information and education about good-practices including the Biometrics Institute Privacy Guidelines, the Top 10 Vulnerability Questions, an annual industry survey and the Understanding Biometrics – Considerations for Implementing a Biometric System. It represents a multi-stakeholder community of over 240 membership organisations from around the world representing government agencies, other users, suppliers, academic and privacy experts.
IOM is the UN Migration Agency with Missions in 150 countries and over 10,000 staff world-wide.  In 2016, IOM carried out a comprehensive assessment of their global work related to biometrics for identity management to inform further policymaking and priority-setting. The assessment demonstrated that IOM has become a major global player in the field of biometrics for identity management. Over a five-year period, IOM offices in 80 countries had implemented 125 projects with significant biometric components.
IOM’s specific work with biometrics covers a broad array of migration activities, ranging from the development of biometric applications made available to States for enhanced border management, via the processing of migrants’ biometric data for facilitated regular migration, to the use of biometrics in crisis situations to support humanitarian work.
For more information, please contact Isabelle Moeller at the Biometrics Institute, Tel: +44 7887 414 887, Email: