Source: UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
Concluding observations on the combined second and third periodic reports of the Gambia
Birth registration/name and nationality
35. While welcoming the progress made in birth registration, the Committee remains concerned about:
(a) The huge number of children who are not immediately registered at birth and the lack of awareness among parents, especially in remote areas, of the importance of birth registration;
(b) The complicated procedure for children above 5 years of age to be registered;
(c) Obstacles to birth registration of children born out of wedlock, mostly due to the stigmatization faced by single mothers;
(d) The reported lack of provision of identification documents to child refugees born in the Gambia or arriving as minors, which puts them at particular risk of statelessness.
36. The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Take all necessary measures to ensure complete and immediate birth registration of all children and allocate resources accordingly;
(b) Launch extensive awareness-raising programmes, including campaigns, on the importance of birth registration, on the benefits thereof and on the registration process;
(c) Ensure that all children, including children born out of wedlock, are properly registered at birth, including by raising awareness among the population to eliminate the stigmatization faced by children born out of wedlock and their mothers;
(d) Provide identification documents to child refugees born in the Gambia or arriving as minors, to avoid the risk of statelessness;
(e) Seek technical assistance from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and UNICEF, among others, for the implementation of these recommendations.
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