Every child’s birth right: Inequities and trends in birth registration

Published: 1/Dec/2013
Source: UNICEF

A name and nationality is every child’s right, enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international treaties. Nevertheless, the births of nearly 230 million children under the age of five have never been registered. This lack of formal recognition by the State usually means that a child is unable to obtain a birth certificate. As a result, he or she may be denied health care or education. Later in life, the lack of official identification documents can mean that a child may enter into marriage or the labour market, or be conscripted into the armed forces, before he legal age. If accused of a crime, unregistered children may be prosecuted as adults, due to their inability to prove their age. In adulthood, birth certificates may be required to obtain social assistance or a job in the formal sector, to buy or prove the right to inherit property, to vote and to obtain a passport. Registering children at birth is the first step in securing their recognition before the law, safeguarding their rights, and ensuring that any violation of these rights does not go unnoticed.

Download here: Every child’s birth right

Themes: Acquisition by children, International standards, Identity Documents, Birth Registration
Regions: International
Year: 2013