The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was established by the United Nations General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and coordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country. It also has a mandate to help stateless people.
According to the UN Refugee Agency’s latest figures, wars, conflict and persecution globally have forced more people than at any other time since records began to flee their homes and seek refuge and safety elsewhere in 2015. Turkey especially has seen a major influx of refugees from war-torn neighboring countries and to date, has taken- in over 2.2 million Syrian refugees, the majority of which are women and children. Overall, The Republic of Turkey welcomes over 35 million visitors and aliens annually and every single entrant is documented through a registration record that must be stored and archived centrally for fast and secure retrieval. In order to expedite visitor and alien registration without compromising security interests, Turkey needed a more decentralized and digital approach to recording, capturing and retrieving visitor and alien registration records at local and regional immigration offices – and the ability to store, archive and search this data centrally in one content repository with strict restrictions on data access and sharing.
The eBA ECM platform was selected by a joint committee of United Nations and Turkish Immigration officials to capture and digitize locally collected registration data and store them centrally in one single content repository. Key factors influencing the choice for eBA included the completeness of eBA’s capabilities around capturing, digitizing and indexing paper- based documents, advanced workflow, content storage, retrieval and archiving and the ability of the platform to seamlessly integrate and communicate with various different information sources, such as the Turkish e- visa application system and various foreign embassy and consular databases.
Time to Implement
The flood of refugees is a global humanitarian challenge that also has major security implications. Turkey has been extremely hospitable in allowing millions of new entrants to find safe harbor, and with that hospitality comes a responsibility to not only take care of refugees, but also register who is entering the country. With the help of eBA, the Turkish government now has the ability to locally capture registration data and centrally access this data in near real-time. This strengthens controls around information and security, both nationally and internationally. This document management platform – powered by eBA ECM – was implemented at 3 regional sites within 30 days and is currently being rolled-out to 95 additional sites, showcasing another major benefit of the platform: simplicity of implementation. Since going live, the system has been extremely stable, securely capturing and centrally registering millions of new entrant’s records.