CRC Concluding Observations: Benin, 2016

Published: 26/Feb/2016
Source: UN Committee on the Rights of the Child


Concluding observations on the combined third to fifth periodic reports of Benin

Birth registration

30. The Committee is concerned that many children are still not registered at birth, in particular children living in remote rural communities, children from disadvantaged families and children in residential care. It is also concerned that many barriers to birth registration remain, such as insufficient information or awareness as to the importance of birth registration certificates, insufficient enabling frameworks to  ensure that all births are registered, and high transaction costs to obtain certificates, owing to an environment of corruption and poverty.

31. The Committee urges the State party to take all measures necessary to ensure that all children, especially children in residential care, are registered. More particularly, the Committee recommends that the State Party:

(a) Ensure the effectiveness and functioning of secondary registration centres throughout the country, and set up a special body of agents responsible for the management of civil status, to facilitate the issuance of civil status certificates to children;
(b) Develop computerized national registration files; and increase efforts to promote public awareness of the importance of birth registration and the process of acquiring a birth certificate in order to protect children against the consequences of non-registration;

(c) Review national legislation and ensure that birth registration is free of charge, including late birth registration;

(d) Seek technical assistance from UNICEF, among others, for the implementation of the above recommendations.


32. While noting information provided by the delegation indicating that Act No. 65-17 of 23 June 1965 on nationality is being reviewed, the Committee is concerned that the existing legislation contains discriminatory provisions which provide that the loss of Beninese nationality by a husband can be extended to a mother and children.

33. The Committee recommends that the State party amend Act No. 65-17 of 23 June 1965 on nationality with a view to granting Beninese women equal rights with Beninese men regarding the retention or loss of the nationality of their children.

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Themes: Acquisition by children, International standards, Discrimination, Gender, Birth Registration
Regions: Benin
Year: 2016