Refugee IDs revamped, renamed
14 January 2022 | Government
The home affairs ministry has revamped identification documents for refugees, and with the new look comes a new name – African Guest Identity Cards.
“This is being done within the letter and spirit of Pan-Africanism because Namibia views our brothers and sisters who seek asylum as guests,” executive director Etienne Maritz said.
The ministry launched the revamped IDs on 18 November for citizens, permanent residents and refugees, and they include a
machine-readable zone (MRZ) and a quick response code (QRC).
“As a child of international solidarity, Namibia always seeks ways to accommodate guests seeking asylum and refuge, as evident in the inclusion of refugees in the new look IDs. This is done within the ambit of applicable international and national legal framework,” Maritz added.
He, however, emphasised that African Guest Identity Cards will only be issued to recognised refugees in Namibia and not to every person seeking refuge or asylum.
He said Namibia has acceded to the United Nations’ conventions and protocols relating to the status of refugees as well as the Organisation of African Unity convention on the specific aspects of refugee problems. “These international instruments remain valid in Namibia.”
According to Maritz, the Namibia Refugees Act and its regulations are also still applicable with regard to the criteria determining refugee status.
“The nation is therefore assured that the naming of the refugee identity card will not change the requirements for determining refugee status.”
Maritz said the new name will be given effect by amending the Namibia Refugees Regulations before the revamped IDs are issued to qualifying applicants.
He added that the ministry will continue to work closely in addressing refugee issues in accordance with international law.