Birth Registration in Emergencies: A review of best practices in humanitarian action

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Plan International

Birth registration is the first legal acknowledgement of a child’s existence; it is proof of identity and can help in gaining access to basic services and to exercise fundamental human rights. In humanitarian or emergency settings, children are extremely vulnerable and birth registration can be of assistance in reuniting separated families, family tracing, and proof of age in cases of child marriage and child labour. Birth registration also offers a child a certain degree of legal protection.

This report presents the findings of a literature review on birth registration in emergencies, Plan International’s experiences, and the experiences of other agencies. As a result of this process, several key factors and good practices, which help to determine the effectiveness of birth registration, were identified. 

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