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ERIC Number: ED467071
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Mar
Pages: 35
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1028-3528
Birth Registration: Right from the Start. Innocenti Digest.
Hawke, Angela, Ed.
The right to birth registration, the official recording of the birth of a child by some administrative level of the state as a permanent and official record of a child's existence, is enshrined in the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child. This digest examines birth registration, a right that opens the door to other rights, including education and health care, participation, and protection. The digest explains why the births of more than 50 million children go unregistered each year. It is noted that, in legal terms, these children do not exist and their right to an official name and nationality is denied; their access to basic services may be severely jeopardized and they may find themselves more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. The effects can last a lifetime, with the unregistered adult unable to vote, open a bank account, or obtain a marriage license. The digest asserts that countries need to know how many people they have and how many there are likely to be in the future in order to plan effectively. The digest emphasizes the crucial importance of birth registration, explores the obstacles to universal registration, and highlights the actions, including awareness raising, legislative changes, resource allocation, and capacity building, that are needed to ensure the registration of every child. (Contains 242 endnotes.) (KB)
UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, Piazza SS Annunziata, 12, 50122 Florence, Italy. Tel: 39-055-203-30; Fax: 39-055-244-817; e-mail: For full text:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: United Nations Children's Fund, Florence (Italy). Innocenti Research Centre.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child