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My name is Hailie Sigabo. I am a registration assistant in the Endabaguna Screening Centre. Me, I register asylum seekers identified by the government (department) of ARRA. After they identify that they are refugee, people come with their manifesto. This is a manifesto we call. This manifesto is prepared by ARRA. It has a registration number and their data, rough data. We receive it and we register them.
I call the child alone first. I register and ask him if he has any relative, someone who can look after him. He may tell me people from his village is here. So he might come and take care of me, he say. How much he knows him, how is he for him as well, how he can handle him. I just cross-check from his mouth. And I confirm with the other adult person as well if he’s really willing to do that. I begin with his name and why he came to the country Ethiopia.
There are different questionnaires here: where he was born, and why he came to Ethiopia, and so on, how old is he, and his academic, and so on. They are not mature people. They need help of other person. They may not be capable to answer things as you ask. So you must ask them softly and in a good approach to get some information from them. I try to approach them as fatherly. Since I am father, I try to be like a father. Like I when ask them, I don’t shout at them. I know they make mistakes when they speak. They speak three times for one question, which is different. I understand.
So I give time to the child to give me the right answer. Then after I confirm, I proceed with the registration activity. If you approach them in a good approach, in a good manner, they may tell you everything they face is on the way. Since you are approaching them in a good manner, they feel familiar with themselves. So they are open to tell you if you do that. Registration is very important for refugee. All their document and fingerprint, iris are taken. So they are identified by their data, including their fingerprints. The iris is very important to identify a refugee. As well as their data, it is something that tells us about them, about the individual refugee.
If anyone comes to ask whether they are refugee or not, they can identify easily with other measurements as well as by their data.
A child might have many children, brothers, siblings. Some in the country of origin, some in a boat or in the asylum area. So I get information if he has people here in Ethiopia. I can take their numbers so I can locate the family identification and so on.

In this video we see the UNHCR process of registration being undertaken by Hailie Sigabo. Hailie works as a Registration Assistant in a UNHCR Registration Centre in the district of Shire, Northern Ethiopia. We see Hailie register two Eritrean children – one child has travelled unaccompanied and the other is currently being looked after by his uncle but wishes to be reunited with his grandmother. Whilst other children wait to see Haile, they can spend time playing with other children outside the waiting room.

When Eritrean children first cross the border into Ethiopia they are identified as unaccompanied and separated by officials of the Ethiopian Government. Children then travel to the district of Shire with teams from the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

During the registration process Hailie begins the UNHCR Best Interests Determination process (BID) by asking questions from UNHCR‘s Best Interests Assessment (BIA) format. UNHCR undertakes the registration and assessment process as quickly as possible.

UNHCR supports the provision of alternative care and protection services for children in refugee camps in collaboration with the Government of Ethiopia’s department for Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) and non-governmental agencies.

The term registration is used to refer to several distinct procedures:

  1. It is used to refer to government-run immigration procedures, particularly when adults or children arriving in a new country declare that they are refugees and wish to apply for asylum in the country. The process is supervised by immigration officials, who record personal details about the individual.

    In some countries, unaccompanied and separated children seeking asylum are issued with a temporary identification document such as an interim refugee certificate, or a certificate confirming that the child is applying for asylum. Officials then decide on what should happen next to the child.

  2. It is used when the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) registers a person as an asylum seeker or refugee. This includes recording personal details. They then check this information. The purpose is to ensure that the adults and children concerned can be properly protected. It is conducted by staff who have specialist training.

  3. It is also used to refer to the recording of information about a child for the purpose of family tracing. This involves trying to find information on the whereabouts of a child’s parent or parents for family reunification purposes.

In many situations, a child who is registered will be given an individual case number or registration number. This is a unique or personal identification number so they are not confused with another child. It also helps when trying to find any records about that child and with keeping each case record confidential.

This article is from the free online

Caring for Children Moving Alone: Protecting Unaccompanied and Separated Children

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