Manuals, Toolkits and Guidance

A passport to protection: A Guide to Birth Registration Programming

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UNICEF, United Nations Children's Fund

Registering a child’s birth is a critical first step towards safeguarding lifelong protection. Promoting children’s right to birth registration falls clearly within UNICEF’s mandate. It has been a key component of its programming since the late 1990s. Approximately 230 million children under the age of 5 have not had their births registered. There has been some progress, albeit small in raising birth registration levels. Between 2000 and 2010 global birth registration levels rose only slightly, from 58 per cent to 65 percent. Certain trends in the international environment provide opportunities for rethinking approaches to birth registration.

‘A Passport to Protection: A guide to birth registration programming’ provides practical guidance to UNICEF staff and staff of other agencies on how the inequities found in the assessment may be addressed. It outlines eight steps for understanding the programme task and ways to implement organisational and legal changes, stimulating demand and strengthening collaboration. These actions aim to support the characteristics of a well-functioning birth registration process within the civil registry: free, universal, permanent and continuous, confidential, timely and accurate.

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