Source: UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
Concluding observations on the combined second to fourth periodic reports of Sao Tome and Principe, adopted by the Committee at its sixty-fourth session (16 September–4 October 2013).
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29. The Committee welcomes the improvement in the birth registration rate resulting from the State party’s Child Birth Registration Programme and the Permanent Birth Registration Strategy. However, the Committee remains concerned that in spite of this progress, a significant number of children remain without birth certificates. In particular, the Committee is concerned about:
(a) Inadequate staffing to register babies born on weekends;
(b) Informal fees frequently charged for birth registration;
(c) Fines imposed for birth registrations made after the age of 14 years.
30. The Committee urges the State party to take further measures to ensure that all children are registered immediately after birth and that the national legislation regulating birth registration is in accordance with the provisions of article 7 of the Convention, including by:
(a) Ensuring adequate staffing to register all babies, including those born on weekends;
(b) Ensuring that birth registration and the issuance of birth certificates are provided free of charge in practice;
(c) Providing adequate and accessible mechanisms to enforce free birth registration and to report on officials seeking informal fees for birth registration, and imposing commensurate sanctions on perpetrators;
(d) Abolishing fines for late birth registrations and allowing for birth certificates to be issued up to the age of 18 years..
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