A report analyse data from 174 countries to show that the proportion of the under-5s population registered globally is up around 20 per cent from 10 years ago, from 63 to 75 per cent.
Nearly one in three countries – equating to around a third of the global population of children under five – will need to urgently speed up progress in order to meet the target of providing legal identity for all, including birth registration, as set out in the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Details are available per country or region.
Henrietta Fore, Executive Director for UNICEF, said: “We have come a long way but too many children are still slipping through the cracks, uncounted and unaccounted for. A child not registered at birth is invisible – nonexistent in the eyes of the government or the law. Without proof of identity, children are often excluded from education, health care and other vital services, and are more vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.”
UNICEF calls for five actions to protect all children:
- Provide every child with a certificate upon birth,
- Empower all parents, regardless of gender, to register their child at birth,
- Link birth registration to other systems,
- Invest in safe and innovative technologies to make registrations possible,
- Encourage communities to demand birth registration.