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.

the sting Milestones

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

Draghi to hold on zero interest rates until he leaves ECB

EU-Turkey relations: Will Turkey manage to revive the EU accession process talks?

COVID-19: latest on evaluation and authorisation of vaccines

Budget Committee backs €2.3 million worth of aid to help 550 redundant media workers in Greece

European Super League: Why more football is an imperfect solution to sport’s business model problem

State aid: Commission approves €106.7 million restructuring aid and €30.2 compensation for damages suffered due to coronavirus outbreak in favour of French airline Corsair

A record number of people will need help worldwide during 2020: Global Humanitarian Overview

Macao: EU reports on political and economic developments in 2020

Cyprus’s last chance to solve the Cyprus issue is threatened by its corrupt political elite

COVID-19: Commission presents guidelines for border measures to protect health and keep goods and essential services available

Tackling online piracy of live sporting events

‘Democratic aspirations of the Sudanese people’ must be met urges Guterres, following military removal of al-Bashir from power

How collaborations with social entrepreneurs are helping to make the SDGs a reality

Protecting the front line: the healthcare of health professionals

A letter from Italy: Our insecurity in COVID-19 times

Greta Thunberg at #DavosAgenda: Here’s how climate experts responded to her speech

Trump’s Pandemic Failure: A Missed Opportunity

How we can embrace the electrical vehicle transition by adopting smart charging

Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon should be free to earn a living

Parliament adopts its position on digital copyright rules

The new Kiev rulers ask $35 billion from the West

‘Open, cordial, and frank discussions’ held over future Somalia-UN relationship

UN human rights chief regrets closure of Burundi office following Government pressure

How to survive the COVID-19 lockdown with a newborn baby

From drought to floods in Somalia; displacement and hunger worsen, says UN

Low quality healthcare is increasing the burden of illness and health costs globally

Better housing means better health and well-being, stress new WHO guidelines

Thursday’s Daily Brief: Climate crisis and food risks, fresh violence threat for millions of Syrians, calls for calm in Kashmir

10 Downing street: Another desperate attempt to unite Britain on Brexit

This is where teachers are paid the most

EU secures more and cheaper energy supplies

More urgency needed to help increasing numbers ‘locked out’, before 2030, says UN’s Bachelet

Coronavirus: Commission launches call for innovative response and recovery partnerships between EU regions

Resolving Israel-Palestinian conflict, ‘key to sustainable peace’ in the Middle East: Guterres

Changing healthcare systems with simple technological solutions

European Semester 2019 Spring Package: Commission issues recommendations for Member States to advance sustainable and inclusive economic growth

Digital education is both a necessity and an advantage for the Global South. Here’s why

World leaders must put women at centre of COVID-19 recovery

De-escalate now, to steer Yemen off ‘precarious path’, UN Security Council hears

Ukraine: Temperatures plunge amid rising humanitarian needs

3 ways governments and carmakers can keep up with the future of transport

Deepening Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union: Commission takes stock of progress

Trump in London poisons UK and Europe

Is 2019 the beginning of the end for coal in Europe?

Around 600,000 Afghan children face death through malnutrition without emergency funds: UNICEF

Spending another 3 billion euros on Turkey feels better than admitting EU’s failure

Is Erdogan losing game and match within and without Turkey?

5 facts you should know about the world’s refugees

TTIP is not dead as of yet, the 15th round of negotiations in New York shouts

Trade/Human Rights: Commission decides to partially withdraw Cambodia’s preferential access to the EU market

State aid: Commission approves Danish public financing of Fehmarn Belt fixed rail-road link

Macron crowned king of Europe in Washington D.C.; just a working meeting with Trump for Merkel

SDGs and the historical and economic impact on Brazilian health

Companies that put employees first perform better

Brexit: UK business fear of a no-deal scenario preparing for the worst

Terrorist content online should be removed within one hour, says EP

Here’s what could happen to the global economy this year

Some Prevailing Arguments and Perceptions over the South China Sea Issue Are Simply Wrong

Coronavirus: Commission proposes update to coordinated approach on free movement restrictions

7 steps to make electricity systems more resilient to climate risks

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

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

You are commenting using your 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