CRC: Concluding observations on the combined fifth and sixth periodic reports of Togo, 2023

Published: 11/Oct/2023
Source: UN Committee on the Rights of the Child


Committee on the Rights of the Child


Birth registration and nationality

23.The Committee welcomes the ratifications by the State party, in 2021, of the Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. The Committee notes Decree No. 2021-134/PR, which provides for the issuance of birth certificates free of charge within 45 days. However, the Committee is seriously concerned about:

(a)Disparities in registering births, depending on the region, family income and education level and that a large number of births have not been registered;

(b)The delay in creating civil status centres in health facilities at the communal level;

(c)The practice of collecting fees for birth registration, resulting from the lack of implementation of Decree No. 2021-134/PR;

(d)The lack of access to education, school examinations, health care and other social services for children without birth certificates;

(e)Barriers to accessing Togolese nationality for children whose mother is the only parent who is Togolese and for children born in Togo to refugee parents, particularly to Ghanaian parents, as well as the lack of safeguards against statelessness for these children.

24. Recalling target 16.9 of the Sustainable Development Goals and its previous recommendations, the Committee urges the State party:

(a) To ensure free and universal birth registration, with particular attention paid to the poorest families and rural areas, including by increasing the number of birth registration facilities, promoting birth registration for all children through awareness-raising campaigns, improving the monitoring of birth registration and strengthening cooperation between health and civil registry services;

(b) To abolish fees for late birth registration and review the legislation accordingly, including Decree No. 2021-134/PR, so that legal remedies are not necessary;

(c) To ensure that a birth certificate is provided free of charge for every registered birth and that children without a birth certificate can access education and all other essential social services, and to consider implementing “ catch-up registration ” through schools;

(d) To review legislation to ensure that Togolese nationality can be conferred by either parent;

(e) To facilitate naturalization and access to nationality for refugee children and their parents;

(f) To implement the Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.

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Themes: Acquisition by children, International standards, Birth Registration
Regions: Togo
Year: 2024