Groping in the dark: More than four million Nigerian children are unaccounted for each year

Published: 4/Sep/2018
Source: International Centre for Investigative Reporting


Each year, more than seven million babies – equal to the population of Sierra Leone – are born in Nigeria.  But over four million of these babies do not exist legally because their births are not registered. They do not have a birth certificate.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in its Article 7 points out that all children have the right to a legally registered name which is officially recognised by the government.

But as important as birth registration is in child protection, it is an afterthought in Nigeria.  Last year, only 2.6 million children under the age of one were registered by the National Population Commission (NPC). This year so far, 1.6 million infants have been registered, despite the fact that the law stipulates that birth should be registered within 60 days.

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Themes: Birth Registration
Regions: Nigeria
Year: 2018