Universal Birth Registration – A Universal Responsibility. Plan, 2005

UNICEF estimates that around 48 million children are not annually registered at birth. How does a child with no proof of age avoid detention and prosecution as an adult? How does an unregistered child orphaned by AIDS prove their identity and parental links in order to inherit family property? How does a child live up to the responsibilities that accompany citizenship if they are not acknowledged by decision-makers and may be unable to stand for elective office or vote when an adult? This report encourages us to consider these questions and more. It encourages us to think beyond the individual and to consider how the statistics generated through birth registration can provide an effective tool for developing and monitoring effective social and economic development policies including, at the international level, the fourth Millennium Development Goal which aims to reduce child mortality by two-thirds by 2015.

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