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Eve Hayes de Kalaf (University of London, School of Advanced Study)
Accessing Citizenship in a Digital Era: Statelessness, Race and Rights
Over the coming decade, states will register one billion people in alignment with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Although typically couched within a discourse of belonging and social inclusion, emerging scholarship is evidencing that SDG 16.9 is exacerbating problems with the identification of citizens, including statelessness. This talk will examine the focus of my monograph “Legal Identity, Race and Belonging in the Dominican Republic: From Citizen to Foreigner”. The book highlights how, with international donor backing, civil registry officials challenged, refuted and blocked access to Dominican ID to persons of Haitian ancestry. This talk will ask whether the sector is doing enough to adhere to its own “do no harm” principle while considering the interconnectedness of international development policy, new biometric technologies and large-scale identification systems with the ways in which citizens are accessing essential state services, including welfare, education, healthcare and pensions.