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Universal birth registration : a universal responsibility


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This publication is the final report arising from a Plan International campaign on universal birth registration. Article 7 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child states that 'the child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right to a name and the right to acquire a nationality'. Most recent statistics estimate that 36 percent of children are currently not registered. Without a birth certificate, children may have difficulty proving to officials that they are eligible for assistance at times of personal and national crisis. They may have problems accessing human rights such as care and education. They can be at risk of exclusion and not fulfilling their potential by operating at a disadvantage within social, cultural, economic and political spheres. This campaign aims to ensure that evey child is registered at birth

The 'rights' start to life


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This is a publication produced by the United Nations Children's Fund and is a statistical analysis of birth registration. Birth registration is a fundamental human right and an essential means of protecting a child's identity. This objective of this study is to present available empirical evidence to understand which factors are associated with children who obtain a birth certificate. By analysing levels of birth registration in the context of other health, education and poverty indicators, the study points to opportunities to integrate advocacy and behaviour change campaigns for birth registration with early childhood care and immunisation. By linking birth registration to early childhood care programmes, a legal hurdle can become a helpful referral to promote improved health, education and protection for disadvantaged children and their caretakers. Particular references to ethnic groups and minorities appear on page 12 and on page 22

Birth registration : right from the start

March 2002

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This Digest looks at birth registration -- a fundamental human right that opens the door to other rights, including education and health care, participation and protection. Unregistered children are often the children of the poor and excluded, such as refugees or particular indigenous groups. Lack of registration exacerbates their poverty and underscores their marginalisation. Non-registration also has serious implications for national goverments. Countries need to know how many people they have and how many there are likely to be in the future, in order to plan effectively. This Digest emphasizes the crucial importance of birth registration, explores the obstacles to universal registration and highlights the actions -- including awareness raising, legislative changes, resource allocation and capacity building -- that are needed to ensure the registration of every child


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