Briefing Paper

Kenya's National Integrated Identity Management Scheme (NIIMS)

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Kenya is currently introducing a National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS), a system intended to create and operate a national population register as a single source of information about Kenyan citizens and foreigners resident in the country. Once registered by NIIMS, individuals will be issued a unique identity "service number"—known in Swahili as a Huduma Namba—that will be required in order to access public services, effectively leaving no option to opt out of the system.

Yet there are numerous questions about how data will be safeguarded and used, and the impact of the system on groups that have historically struggled to secure official identity documents.

This briefing paper summarizes the main concerns of local civil society groups who have challenged the way that the system is being introduced before the High Court in Nairobi.

The Open Society Justice Initiative is providing legal support to the plaintiffs in the case: the Nubian Human Rights Forum, Haki na Sheria, the Kenyan Human Rights Commission, and the Kenyan National Commission for Human Rights.



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