Empoweriпg Fυtυres: Embraciпg the Emotioпal Importaпce of Birth Registratioп iп Oυr Moderп World

Empoweriпg Fυtυres: Embraciпg the Emotioпal Importaпce of Birth Registratioп iп Oυr Moderп World

Birth registration is the only legal way for a child to get a birth certificate.

This legal proof of identity can help protect children from violence, abuse and exploitation. Without a birth certificate, children are unable to prove their age, which puts them at a much higher risk of being forced into early marriage or the labour market, or recruited into armed forces.

It can also help protect migrant and refugee children against family separation, trafficking and illegal adoption. Without it, these children are at a much higher risk of statelessness, meaning they do not have legal ties to any country, including a nationality.

Without a birth certificate, many children can’t get routine vaccines and other healthcare services. They may be unable to attend school or register for exams. As a result, their future job opportunities are extremely limited, which makes them more likely to live in poverty.

In young adulthood, children will need this official identification for basic but important transactions like opening a bank account, registering to vote, getting a passport, entering the formal job market, buying or inheriting property, or receiving social assistance.

How many children aren’t registered?

Birth registration is almost universal in most high-income countries. But in low- and middle-income countries, on average, one in four children under age 5 (166 million) are not registered. Of these 166 million children, half live in just five countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria and Pakistan.

Even when children are registered, they may not have proof of registration. An estimated 237 million children under age 5 worldwide currently do not have a birth certificate.

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