Failure to register newborns leaves millions ‘invisible’ warns UN Children’s Fund

© UNICEF/Frank Dejongh A newborn baby receives her birth certificate at a hospital in the Republic of the Congo.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


While the number of registered births has significantly increased over the past decade, one quarter of children globally remain unaccounted for, leaving them vulnerable and “invisible”,  the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Wednesday.

UNICEF reports that the births of one in four children under-five, or some 166 million children globally, have never been officially recorded.

Too many children are “slipping through the cracks,” said Henrietta Fore, the agency’s Executive Director: “A child not registered at birth is invisible – nonexistent in the eyes of the government or the law,” she explained.

“Without proof of identity, children are often excluded from education, health care and other vital services, and are more vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.”

South Asia making ‘great strides’

The findings come in the new report, Birth Registration for Every Child by 2030: Are we on track?   It was released on Wednesday, UNICEF’s 73rd birthday.

The report analyzes data from 174 countries, revealing that the proportion of children registered globally is up by around 20 per cent from 10 years ago: rising from 63 per cent to 75 per cent.

Much of that progress is attributed to what UNICEF describes as “great strides” made in South Asia, particularly in Bangladesh, India and Nepal.

In India alone, the number of registered children rose from 41 per cent in 2005-2006, to 80 per cent a decade later. UNICEF has been working with the authorities to prioritize birth registration, including through training community workers and launching public awareness programmes in vulnerable areas.

Meanwhile, the majority of countries in sub-Saharan Africa are falling behind the rest of the world, with three countries in the region—Ethiopia, Zambia and Chad—having the lowest levels of registered births globally.

Countries urged to step up action

UNICEF is pressing Governments to take action, in line with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which call for all people to be provided a legal identity, including birth registration.

Nearly one in three countries will need to step up progress urgently to meet this target as they are home to around a third of under-fives globally.

Lack of knowledge on how to register a child’s birth, but also unaffordable registration fees, are some of the barriers which will need to be addressed.  Traditional customs and practices, such as forcing new mothers to stay indoors, may also be a factor.

The report outlines five areas for action, beginning with providing certificates for children at birth, while also empowering parents to register them.

Birth registration should be linked to other systems to facilitate a child’s right to services such as health care and education, and countries should invest in technological solutions which support birth registration.

Finally, UNICEF is calling on local communities to demand birth registration for every child.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Finland should do more to improve job prospects of low-skilled youth

European Youth Vlog

Toni Morrison: 10 quotes you should know

In the United States, there aren’t enough hours in the week to make rent

Bring killers of journalists to justice: UN agency seeks media partners for new campaign

EU Parliament: It takes real banks to fight unemployment and recession

Fisherwomen of Lake Chad show optimism in face of multiple challenges

An economist explains how to create a fairer society

Countdown To GSMA Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2018 Is On

This woman solved one of the biggest problems facing green energy

These five exercise trends will help society and your health

Is our brave new world about to burst?

Bureaucracy in the member states again the obstacle for long due strong European Hedge Funds

With millions of girls ‘at risk’ today of genital mutilation, UN chief calls for zero tolerance

Protect women’s rights ‘before, during and after conflict’ UN chief tells high-level Security Council debate

A Sting Exclusive: “Climate change-the biggest global health threat of the 21st century, yet overlooked in climate negotiations?” IFMSA wonders from COP21 in Paris

Monday’s Daily Brief: the future of food and digital tech, labour justice in focus, denuclearization, and Kosovo

No way out for Eurozone’s stagnating economy

2nd Global Consultation on Migrant Health 21-23 February 2017 in Sri Lanka

These are the most desirable cities for overseas workers

UN allocates $20 million in emergency funding, as Cyclone Idai disaster unfolds

Fighting for minds of youth in Latvia

Despite setbacks, ‘political will’ to end Yemen war stronger than ever: top UN envoy

The 27 EU leaders did nothing to help May unlock the Brexit talks

An economist explains why women are paid less

Australia’s record heatwave: From fainting tennis players to dead fish

Why is Grexit again in the news? Who is to pay for Eurozone’s banking problems?

Europe split in confronting the US sanctions on Iran, Washington isolated

Drawing scenarios for drifting Britain; elections or May’s deadlock?

Christine Lagarde: the three priorities for the global economy

Online platforms required by law to be more transparent with EU businesses

UN summit tackles climate change-induced threat to mountain water supplies

Young New Yorkers bring robots, and a glimpse of the future, to UN Headquarters

We don’t need to ban plastic. We just need to start using it properly

Britain offers more money for an orderly Brexit but the Irish question resurges

How cocoa farming can help stop deforestation

Plan for troop pullback ‘now accepted’ by rival forces around key Yemen port, but fighting intensifying elsewhere, Security Council warned

How to make primary healthcare a favourable career choice for medical students: strategies and reflections

Should tech companies pay us for our data?

Anti-terror measures against youngsters’ online posts ‘linked to spike in child detention globally’

Don’t compare data to oil – digitization needs a new mindset

Massive cholera vaccine campaign planned for cyclone-ravaged Mozambique, as UN calls for ‘urgent’ step-up in support

Why Africa must be ready to take the quantum leap

Scientists are using machine learning to unlock the mysteries of long-dead languages

Impact Investment needs global standards and better measurement

New seat projections for the next European Parliament EU28

Encryption is under attack. Here’s why that matters

On technology and medical ethics

Global Citizen-Volunteer Internships

Afghanistan: UN envoy urges further extension of ceasefire with Taliban, as Eid ul-Fitr gets underway

As the Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70 – is it time for a new approach?

India can soar in the robot age. This is how

Darfur peace process at a ‘standstill’ as demonstrations against Sudanese Government continue

Why poorer people suffer more from climate change

Ten UN peacekeepers killed in a terrorist attack in northern Mali

Will the European Court of Justice change data privacy laws to tackle terrorism?

A small group of world leaders are standing together against inequality

Slight easing of G20 GDP growth in first quarter of 2018

This is what countries are doing to fight plastic waste

There are more than 1 billion guns in the world and this is who owns them

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s