Birth Registration: ZINC
The Problem of Birth Registration
Birth registration is a basic human right for a good reason: it is an entry requirement for education, health care, the acquisition of travel documents, employee social security and even to open a bank account. Yet many children in conflict zones do not have the privilege of owning such a document, and are thus left unregistered, being denied this fundamental human right.
In fact, there are 230 million children under the age of 5 worldwide who do not possess a birth certificate. The harrowing effect of this is that without access to education, health care or mobility, these children face the increased risk of falling victim to child-trafficking, prostitution and child labour.
A Beacon of Hope
However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Last February, we ventured down to a Syrian refugee camp in the Bekaa-Barelias area in Lebanon, with the goal to learn as much as possible about the conditions the people there are living in to help in designing the most elegant solution. What we found was that, where the actual registration of children is even more cumbersome to refugees than we thought (especially for children past the age of one), a grand majority of people inside the refugee camp actually own or have access to a smartphone with a fair internet connection. This is our gateway to the solution these people deserve. By leveraging blockchain technology, specifically the “Hyperledger Indy” platform,
we are able to register the legal identity of these children permanently through a mobile application, forever. No matter the terrible conditions in the home countries of these children, they shall always be registered, where no war, database failure or human error could possibly change this.
Verifying and authenticating official documents on the bitcoin blockchain is what won Tykn the Google-powered hackathon Startup Weekend Utrecht 2016, and through our use of Hyperledger Indy and the Sovrin Network we are able to scale this to a whole new level.