Having an identity has never been more important. Yet, there are millions of children whose birth is not registered, and therefore not recognised. If a child’s birth is not registered, they are not issued with a birth certificate, and without a birth certificate, the child does not have a legal identity. Without a legal identity, their civil rights are violated.
Many children across Africa lack a birth certificate, and consequently they lack a legal identity. Without a legal identity children cannot access education, healthcare, legal services. In addition, they are not able to open bank accounts, pay taxes, get drivers licences, get married or travel across borders. The consequences of not having a legal identity are therefore extensive and therefore often just the case for people living in extreme poverty. Whilst the cost of a birth certificate is often small, the ability to travel to register birth for people living in rural areas is often too expensive. Consequently the children will not form part of the system, and be able to access the benefits which form part of such a system. Thus, in the light of COVID-19 and its health as well as economic side-effects are making the situation worse for those living in poverty. As people are no longer able to earn a living due to lockdowns or restrictions, more families are forced into poverty, and less families will be able to afford to travel to register the birth of their children. What makes the issue worse is the importance of a safety net, in particular healthcare, during the time of a pandemic.
This is why the GVI Trust is taking on greater responsibility of assisting families living in poverty in rural areas in getting the logistical and emotional support needed to register the birth of children. This is a task which is not always easy in case a child is considered an orphan as it would further involve finding witnesses which will vouch for the child's identity, a process where GVI together with their partners gets involved.
It is every child’s right to have a birth certificate. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 16.9 target goal is to provide legal identity for all including birth registration by 2030. This project therefore seeks to turn the promises of SDGs into reality through assisting vulnerable children with transport and other logistics needed to acquire birth certificates. By donating $10 you are not only providing a child with a legal identity but with the possibility to access governmental services such as school and healthcare.
Thank you to our Donors, Fundraisers and Supporters!
Africa Paperless Children