Empowering border management agencies to aid refugees

Border management agencies can save time, money and resources by using digital identity management to ease safe resettlement for refugees.


As tens of thousands of people flee conflict and persecution, Europe is experiencing the largest global refugee influx since WWII. According to the European Union (EU) statistics agency, Eurostat, more than 570,000 asylum applications were made in 2014. The global level of displacement is increasing with nearly 60 million people noted to be forcibly displaced worldwide in 2014, compared to 37.5 million a decade ago. Yet when a young boy’s body washed up on a Turkish shore, the subject of refugees became less about numbers, or a political issue, and more of a humanitarian crisis.

With high volumes of applicants arriving at train stations, ports or local shores, rather than entering via formal reception centers, both member states and refugees could benefit from a more flexible means to process claims from more mobile, high-capacity reception centers. In this way, border management agencies can save time, money and resources while using the improved identity information to help refugees find residency in their host country more quickly, give them access to the services to which they are entitled and so desperately need and help address potential security threats.


It is not only the refugees who need help. The border agencies responsible for recording and processing people in such unprecedented numbers in remote locations also need support. Even taking into account variations country-by-country, most reception centers are designed to handle only a limited number of refugees per month. Now, many member states are seeing a ten-fold increase in those numbers.

Key Findings
Any government’s ability to equitably deliver vital services to residents rests on accurate enrollment and unique identification. Most travelers feel favorably toward a system of checks and balances. When an Accenture survey team asked citizens across the world if they would be happy to share their biometric details, 89 percent concurred. What is more, they understood the benefits of biometrics in terms of security and fast, efficient processing.

Border Management Chart


There are positive, forward-thinking benefits in applying identity as an enabler, including solutions for the long term, better allocation of scarce resources, and increased safety and security.

Some countries are already realizing those benefits. In May 2015, the United Nationals High Commissioner for Refugees announced a global biometric identity system for registering and verifying the identities of displaced persons around the world. The system, developed by Accenture, enables the enrollment and formal identification of people resident in disparate refugee camps. To date, more than 450,000 refugees have been processed in Chad, Thailand, and Malawi.


Border management agencies can benefit from using identity as an enabler to ease the free movement of refugees while maintaining safety and security. Three actions that better serve refugees include:

  • Enroll vast numbers of refugees, rapidly: This key operational challenge could be eased by using a scalable identity management system, including biometrics, to augment existing processes and systems such as EURODAC.

  • Collaborate dynamically to better serve refugees’ needs: An identity solution could be quickly and effectively adapted across Europe to tackle the identification of refugees in a highly distributed, large-scale manner

  • Manage identity to quickly mitigate ongoing risks to safety and security: Improved identity means the potential for fraud is reduced as refugees are able to prove their history and better integrate with the asylum country.

"There are positive, forward-thinking benefits in applying identity, including better allocation of scarce resources, and increased safety and security."

Global Managing Director, Accenture Public Safety Services


Daniel Bachenheimer

Daniel Bachenheimer
Senior Manager

Daniel Bachenheimer is a senior manager within TGP Emerging Technologies Innovation, where he Leads Solution Architect for the Unique Identity service area. He has been involved in Accenture's Unique Identity related programs, and is actively involved in Border and Identity Services Industry Group

Ajay Srinivasan

Ajay Srinivasan

Ajay is a manager within Accenture UK and am currently focused on helping public safety agencies (Border / Immigration and Policing agencies) with key strategic challenges in areas such as technology driven border entry / exit management (air, sea and land)

Cyrille Bataller

Cyrille Bataller
Managing Director

Cyrille Bataller is a managing director in the Emerging Technology group at Accenture. He is the Cognitive Computing lead, incubating the next generation of technology services in the areas of Cognitive Computing, Unique Identity and Video Analytics.