Source: UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
21.The Committee takes note of the information provided by the State party regarding the establishment of the national identification office, which will be tasked with providing all Congolese nationals with identification, but expresses its grave concern that, at the moment, rates of birth registration remain extremely low and continue to decrease, especially in North Kivu, rendering children vulnerable to statelessness and limiting their access to social benefits and services. The Committee is also concerned at reports that such low rates are due to the lack of information provided to parents on the importance of birth registration, the negligence of parents, the long distances that must be travelled to access civil registration offices, which are underresourced, slow administrative processes, the associated hidden costs for parents and caregivers, and continuous armed conflicts, which lead to a constant movement of the population in affected areas.
22. Taking note of target 16.9 of the Sustainable Development Goals on providing legal identity for all, including birth registration, the Committee strongly urges the State party to:
(a) Raise awareness among its population, especially those in rural areas and conflict-affected territories, of the importance of birth registration;
(b) Provide easy and timely access to civil registration offices, including by initiating mobile registration services and increasing the number of registration centres;
(c) Provide the human, technical and financial resources necessary for the effective functioning of registration offices;
(d) Consider ratifying the Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.
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