iRespond, an international non-profit organization that is “dedicated to using biometrics to improve lives through digital identity,” has begun piloting a new biometric program for newborns among the predominately Karen refugee population along the Myanmar-Thailand border, a program it soon hopes to “quickly deploy” at a greater scale and make available to the general global population. The pilot program is being conducted as part of the controversial ID2020 alliance, backed by Microsoft, the GAVI vaccine alliance and the Rockefeller Foundation, and with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a non-profit organization deeply tied to the Western political elite and Wall Street with a controversial track record of silencing numerous sex abuse and fraud allegations.
More troubling than the background and associations of iRespond are those of their partner in the recently announced newborn biometric identification initiative, the International Rescue Committee (IRC). The IRC describes themselves as responding “to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and help[ing] people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover and gain control of their future.”
Despite the IRC framing itself as a “humanitarian” venture, its board is stuffed with a sordid mix of Wall Street criminals and war criminals. For example, its board is co-chaired by Timothy Geithner, former Treasury Secretary during the 2008 financial crisis bail-outs and current President of Wall Street titan Warburg-Pincus, and Susan Susman, an Executive Vice President at Pfizer. Its board of advisers includes war criminals Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright as well as Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell. Also present are current and former leaders and top executives at McKinsey, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Kroll Associates (“the CIA of Wall Street”), PepsiCo, Bank of America, Lehman Brothers, Citigroup and the World Bank. Another advisor is former chairman and CEO of AIG Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, a name that will likely be familiar to those who have researched the September 11th attacks and Wall Street financial crimes in general.
Since 2013, the IRC has been led by David Miliband, the Tony Blair “protégé” who Bill Clinton once called “one of the ablest, most creative public servants of our time” and who worked closely with then-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton while serving as the U.K.’s Foreign Secretary. So close was Miliband to the Clintons, that he was being considered for a “top U.S. government job” if Hillary Clinton had won the 2016 election.
In the years since joining the IRC, Miliband’s salary as the group’s president has ballooned to nearly a million dollars annually (up from approximately $240,000 when he arrived at the organization in 2013). In addition, the group has been mired in scandal since Miliband became its president. For instance, it was revealed in 2018 that IRC was one of several U.K.-based charities where “workers [were] alleged to be in sexually exploitative relationships with refugee children” including through “sex-for-food scandals” where “sexual abuse was so endemic that the only way for many refugee families to survive was to allow a teenage girl to be exploited.” Reports further alleged that IRC and other charities named in the report, including Save the Children, had known of the egregious abuse for years prior to the allegations being made public and chose not to act.
Not unlike the “sex-for-food” scandal in which IRC was once embroiled, this new initiative is placing refugees in the position of taking part in a massive technocratic experiment if they wish to eat or access other basic services. Though certainly not as egregious as a sex crime, it is nonetheless another means of exploiting the world’s most vulnerable populations under the guise of “helping” them, when those really being aided are the technocratic elite who aim to take this biometric identification program global in short order.“Charity” Accused of Sex Abuse Coordinating ID2020’s Pilot Program For Refugee Newborns