Source: UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
Concluding observations on the third and fourth periodic reports of Rwanda, adopted by the Committee at its sixty-third session (27 May–14 June 2013)
The Committee states:
25. While the Committee notes that Law Nº 54/2011 of 14 December 2011 relating to the Rights and Protection of the Child provides for the right to name and nationality, it is concerned that only 63 per cent of the children were registered with civil authorities and less than 7 per cent had birth certificates in 2010 according to the latest Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey. The Committee further notes with concern that:
(a) Despite efforts to improve birth registration through legislative reforms and birth registration campaigns, children born to refugee parents and children of migrants are still not registered in the State party, partly due to inconsistent implementation of the Law N°14/2008 of 04/6/2008 Governing the Registration of the Population and Issuance of the National Identity Card;
(b) Birth registration procedures are complicated in the State party and do not facilitate the ready issuance of birth certificates; and
(c) Law N° 14/2008 imposes penalties, including prison sentence on families who fail to register their children within the first 45 days, which could deter parents or guardians from registering their children and result in the separation of the parents from their children, which is not in the best interests of the child.
26. The Committee recommends that the State party strengthen its efforts to ensure free and immediate birth registration, including the issuance of birth certificates for all children, by means of accessible and expeditious registration procedures. The Committee further recommends that the State party:
(a) Increase availability and access to registry services and strengthen sensitization and training for registration officers on relevant laws to ensure the registration of all children, including refugee children immediately after birth;
(b) Intensify community sensitization and public awareness on the importance of birth registration, including among refugee populations and in urban areas;
(c) Amend Law N° 14/2008 in order to remove penalties of imprisonment and all legal and procedural barriers that impede birth registration; and
(d) Seek technical assistance from UNICEF and UNHCR among others, for the implementation of these recommendations.
Download from UN OHCHR website.