United Nations News Centre, Dec. 11, 2013
Nearly 230 million children under the age of five have not had their births officially recorded, excluding them from education, health care and social security, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) today reported.
That is approximately one in three of all children under five who are unregistered or lack proof of registration, the agency said in a report released to coincide with its 67th birthday.
“Birth registration is more than just a right. It’s how societies first recognize and acknowledge a child’s identity and existence,” said Geeta Rao Gupta, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director. She added that registration is also key “to guaranteeing that children are not forgotten, denied their rights or hidden from the progress of their nations.”
Only around 60 per cent of births last year were recorded, with the lowest levels of registration in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, according to ‘Every Child’s Birth Right: Inequities and trends in birth registration.’ Even when children are recorded, one in seven do not have a physical birth certificate as proof of registration [....]