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How Many People in the World Can’t Identify Themselves?

I was very surprised to find out that one in six people in this world have no way of proving their identity. What does this mean?

It means that around 1.1 billion people have no identification, according to the World Identification Network. It means that these people can not obtain travel documents or even open a bank account. 

The Invisible Children

Meet the invisible children — young children who have no way of enrolling in school or even receiving the most basic health care. These “invisible children” fall prey to human traffickers, who can easily fake identification documents to transport them across borders, sell them into the sex trade, and even use them for black-market organ donations.

Source: Getty Images
Meet Dr. Mariana Dahan, the Founder of World Identity Network

Born without a birth certificate in Moldova – the poorest country in Europe, Dr. Mariana Dahan comes from humble origins and an upbringing reflecting the conditions of over 600 million children today. Facing adversity and challenges at home, she turned to pursuing higher education, and used it as a way to escape her circumstances and settle abroad.

Dr. Dahan is many things — a technologist, human rights activist, and a published author. Initially interested in Dr. Dahan’s work with blockchain technology — something we both share a background in, I realized one must start at the beginning if they are really to understand her worldview:

Her journey and the passion she has for helping others is what makes her truly stand out as a visionary.

Dr. Dahan escaped Moldova — she never forgot her origins, and used them to fuel her mission of creating a world where everyone, no matter their upbringing— had proof of their existence.

The Birth of the WIN Foundation

Several years ago, after leading the World Bank’s Identification Initiative (ID4D global agenda), she created an organization devoted solely to this cause.

Launched on Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island, the World Identity Network (WIN) Foundation uses blockchain technology to solve some of the toughest challenges in humanity today, including providing identity to the underprivileged to help combat human trafficking.

To Dr. Dahan, identity is a fundamental human right. The ones who are most affected by not having proper documents are women and children; who remain trapped in a cycle of poverty.

Actress Amber Heard & WIN CEO Dr. Mariana Dahan | Source: WIN

Enter actress and philanthropist, Amber Heard. Heard joined the uphill battle alongside Dr. Dahan, tirelessly working to help bring equality for all. Successfully forging her partnership with WIN, Heard has continued to spread awareness of its mission and bring light to the issue of identity for women and children so they may have a fighting chance for opportunity.