Posted on

More than half of children in Africa don’t have legal identity

more than half of children in africa dont have legal identity

More than half of children in Africa don’t have legal identity | The Citizen

Citizen reporter

Ensuring birth registration is totally free of charge is critical to reach universal coverage. This implies that no fees should be imposed for late registration.

SA ID
A South African birth certificate and Identity document. Picture: iStock

More than one in two African children are deprived of a legal existence because they do not have a proper birth certificate, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef).

But achieving universal birth registration has been dealt a heavy blow by the Covid pandemic, it adds.

Worrying projections show that number of unregistered children will exceed 100 million by 2030 in Africa if no immediate and radical measures are taken.

Despite some statistics showing that the continent is making progress, that improvement only accounts for 52% of children under five registered in Africa.

The “No Name Campaign: For Every Child a Legal Identity, For Every Child Access to Justice” campaign was launched by the African Union Commission and Unicef in June 2020.

The campaign is country-focused, data driven and draws on the collaborative capacities of partners.

The campaign has found that by linking birth registration with health and immunisation services, Cote d’Ivoire has significantly expanded the coverage of birth registration services. They are currently established in 89% of maternity hospitals and 98% of vaccination centres.

In Congo Brazzaville, birth registration is integrated with hospital maternity wards but additional measures are taken on a regular basis to identify undocumented children and adults.

However, integration of registration units in health centres is not enough. Beneficiaries might still face challenges in completing the registration process at the maternity ward due to, among others, limited opening hours and short time spent at the hospital.

Measures to address the challenges include making procedures more flexible by, for example, allowing mothers to register without fathers’ presence at the maternity ward, while recognition of fatherhood can be processed at a later stage.

Ensuring birth registration is totally free of charge is critical to reach universal coverage. This implies that no fees should be imposed for late registration.

The effectiveness of removing fees for birth registration is demonstrated by countries like Cape Verde and Congo Brazzaville. Today, birth registration is free of charge in only 4 of 24 countries in west and central Africa.

The overwhelming number of undocumented adults represents a challenge for the registration of newborns, says Unicef.

RELATED ARTICLES

RELATED ARTICLES

Source: DreamAfrica LIVE (A DreamGalaxy Trusted Brand)

Welcome to DreamGalaxy!

May I have your name, please?

en_USEnglish