Source: Government of Mozambique
Combined third and fourth periodic reports submitted by Mozambique under article 44 of the Convention, due in 2016 *
A. Name and nationality (article 7)
135.The right of a Mozambican child to a name and nationality is duly enshrined in the country’s internal legislation, as mentioned in previous reports. The Family Law establishes, in article 205, the right to be registered and to use a name.
136.In composing the name of the child being registered, the constitutional guideline which lays down equality between men and women is taken into consideration.
137.The same law, in Article 204, on equality of rights, states that “children have the same rights and are subject to the same duties regardless of the origin of their birth”.
138.As for nationality, the Constitution establishes the principle of original nationality and acquired nationality. For original nationality, Article 23, on the principle of consanguinity, states.
139.On the principle of territoriality, Article 24 states that Citizens born in Mozambique after the proclamation of independence are Mozambicans except for the children of a foreign mother and father when either of them is in Mozambique at the service of the State to which he or she belongs.
140.Article 25, on the age of majority, states that “ Individuals who, meeting the requirements for original nationality, did not acquire it because of the choice made by their legal representatives, are Mozambicans, if when they are older than 18 years of age, and within a year of attaining majority, they declare for themselves that they wish to be Mozambicans ” .
141.Nationality may only be acquired by individuals who have reached the age of majority, except in cases of adoption, in terms of article 29, which states that “ the person fully adopted by a Mozambican national acquires Mozambican nationality ”and by parenthood under the terms of Article 28, which states that “ through the act of naturalisation, Mozambican nationality may be granted to the children of a citizen of acquired nationality, if they are single, and under 18 years of age ” .
142.The 2011 IDS showed that only 42% of children under 5 years of age were registered. This was an increase when compared with the Multiple Indicators Survey (MICS) of 2008, which indicated that 31% of children under 5 had been registered, 39% in the urban areas and 28% in the rural areas (IDS, 2011). The data from IDS 2011 compared with those from IDS 2003 show that significant progress has been made, rising from 8% to 42%. The evolution of birth registration can be seen in graph 3.
Graph 3 Children registered up to 2011
Source: MICS, 2008 and 2011 .
143.The low levels of registration are caused by socio-demographic factors, such as the level of education of the parents, cultural barriers, lack of knowledge that registration is free of charge in the first 120 days after the birth, and limitations of resources.
144.Faced with this reality, the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional and Religious Affairs (MJACR), with the support of UNICEF and other partners, organized mass birth registrations.
145.New birth registration posts were opened, including in some maternity wards, mobile brigades were used, and registration was included in the National Child Health Week, and the integrated campaign for birth registration and the issuing of identity cards. This strategy has resulted in an increase in the registration of children in the early years of their lives.
146.Since 2012, the MJACR, in collaboration with the Ministries of Science and Technology, Health and the Interior, and with the National Statistics Institute, has embarked on the Electronic Birth Registration Programme and links with the life statistics, allowing greater interconnection between the data bases from various sources.
147.The efforts made have allowed the registration of 7,959,816 children between 2009 and 2016, as table 2.
Table 2 Children registered
|Year||No of Registrations|
|2010||1 946 025|
Source: MJACR, 2016 .
148.However, despite the measures to ensure the registration of children at their birth, mentioned above, the problem still prevails of late registration, since many children are not registered within 120 days of their birth.
149.In this context, the prospect is for continued efforts to expand the civil registration service and to increase actions to raise awareness of the need to register children at birth.
B.Preservation of identity (article 8)
150. Mozambican legislation recognises all the elements that constitute the identity of a child, notably the right to a name, to a nationality and to a family. Once the right to a name is enshrined, its preservation is also guaranteed and protected in national legislation. This is one of the ways of respecting the best interests of the child, regarding the constituent elements of his/her identity.