About 230 million children in the world have no birth certificates – UN

Mad. Sidiku Aissatou of the AU
Mad. Sidiku Aissatou of the AU

A large number of children in the world about 230 million of them, do not have birth certificates, an AU official said citing a UNICEF report released in 2013.

Making a presentation at the launch of a publication “General Comment on Article 6 of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child” at the ongoing 3rd Conference of African Ministers responsible for Civil Registeration, in Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast, February 10, 2015, Mad. Sidiku Aissatou, Chair of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child of the African Union (AU) said, “child registeration should be immediate” after birth, she said, adding that “birth registeration must be free and accessible.

Citing a UNICEF report she said about 230 million children in the world do not have birth certificates, and it is believed that there are 20 million children in sub-Saharan Africa who do not have birth certificates.

In her presentation to the conference, Cisse Mariama Mohammed a member of the Committee explained that Article 6 relates to the right to have nationality at birth, noting that there are cases of “inadequate birth registeration and increasing statelessness in Africa.”

The publication is expected to serve as a guide to African countries that have ratified the Charter on the rights of the child to pass laws to enforce the Charter and for those that already have laws to repeal those laws to conform to Article 6.

The one-week conference is preceded by a three-day technical meeting which would prepare a resolution for the consideration and adoption by the ministers.

It is under the theme “Promoting Civil Registeration and Vital Statistics for Good Governance.”

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi, in Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast

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