Biometrics and human security

Authored by: James Gow , Georg Gassauer

Routledge Handbook of War, Law and Technology

Print publication date:  May  2019
Online publication date:  May  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138084551
eBook ISBN: 9781315111759
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315111759-22

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Abstract

Millions of civilians fled the conflict in Syria after 2011; as so often in the past, doing so without the means to prove their identity or their need. Millions of refugees spread into and beyond neighbouring countries, generating a major international crisis, also fuelled by confluence with other streams of migration. There was little new in this, as such. Mass flows of refugees and humanitarian crises are as old as human societies, conflict, and natural disaster. In this context, the Syria-plus crisis after 2011 was only the latest instance in a long history – even if it was one of the largest such maelstroms ever known. Yet, there was also something fairly new – the use of new technologies in international efforts to manage the tides of humanity. 1 The long history of mass migration inevitably also includes human efforts to manage mass movement and collect information on those displaced and seeking safety, whether to protect them and give them status, or to control them and their impact on established communities. 2

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