Nearly 230M Worldwide Children Do Not Have Birth Certificates, UNICEF Says

“Around one third of the world’s children under the age of five have not had their births registered and do not officially exist, leaving them vulnerable to abuse and neglect, … UNICEF said on Wednesday,” the Thomson Reuters Foundation reports (Batha, 12/11). “Almost 230 million youngsters under the age of five have no birth certificate, which puts them at a disadvantage for procedural matters and leaves them more vulnerable to abuse,” Agence France-Presse writes (12/11). “The associated paperwork is often necessary to secure health care, education, and other basic rights,” The Atlantic notes (Jacobs, 12/11). “The 10 countries with the lowest birth registration levels are: Somalia (three percent), Liberia (four percent), Ethiopia (seven percent), Zambia (14 percent), Chad (16 percent), United Republic of Tanzania (16 percent), Yemen (17 percent), Guinea-Bissau (24 percent), Pakistan (27 percent) and Democratic Republic of the Congo (28 percent),” according to a UNICEF press release (12/11). In its report (.pdf), “UNICEF said it was using innovative approaches to help governments and communities strengthen their civil and birth registration systems,” BBC News writes (12/11).

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