Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 May 2016, 08:28 GMT

Eritrea: Prevalence of fraudulent national identity cards

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa
Publication Date 8 July 2008
Citation / Document Symbol ERI102852.E
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Eritrea: Prevalence of fraudulent national identity cards, 8 July 2008, ERI102852.E, available at: [accessed 25 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The following information was provided in a letter by the Department of Immigration and Nationality of Eritrea sent from the Canadian Consulate in Asmara, through the High Commission of Canada in Nairobi, in correspondence to the Research Directorate dated 18 June 2008.

The Department of Immigration and Nationality would like to provide the answers for the request made by the Canadian High Commission [in] Nairobi, Kenya.

1. We really can't be sure how intensely the fraudulent national identity card is used. This is because ... research has not been made so far. But such identity cards are rarely seized. (Eritrea 18 June 2008)

The United States (US) Department of State indicates in its "Reciprocity Schedule" that Eritrean national identity cards "are easily alterable" (n.d.). In addition, an article in The Indian Ocean Newsletter reports that many Ethiopian refugees use Eritrean identity documents that they "buy in Khartoum from Eritrean intermediaries" (3 Mar. 2008). The article adds that some Ethiopian refugees believe that the Eritrean government is aware of this black market (The Indian Ocean Newsletter 3 Mar. 2008).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Eritrea. 18 June 2008. Department of Immigration and Nationality. Correspondence sent to the Research Directorate through the Canadian Consulate in Asmara and the Embassy of Canada in Nairobi.

The Indian Ocean Newsletter. 3 March 2008. "Refugees Set Tack for Israel – Eritrea/Ethiopia." (Factiva)

United States (US). N.d. Department of State. Bureau of Consular Affairs. "Eritrea Reciprocity Schedule." [Accessed 20 May 2008]

Additional Sources Consulted

Internet sites, including: Afrol News, Amnesty International (AI), Asmara and Eritrea,, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Compass Direct News, Eritreans for Human and Democratic Rights (EHDR-UK), European Country of Origin Information Network (, Factiva, Freedom House, Human Rights Watch (HRW), Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN), Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), International Crisis Group, Ministry of Information (, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Reuters.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

Search Refworld