Why is this important?
In the so-called Third or Developing World, about 51 million children every year are not registered at birth. For example, in Malawi, even after the Government made birth registration compulsory, only 10% of under-fives were registered. This means they have no documented identity.
Without a birth certificate many children
- may not go to school
- may not receive special protection as a minor
- cannot obtain a passport
- cannot inherit money or property
- cannot open a bank account
- cannot vote or stand for election