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Join Plan in its Mission to Count Every Child

Students in Germany wearing brightly colored clothing to represent visible children.
Students in Germany wearing brightly colored clothing to represent visible children.
May 27, 2014
Plan International USA has set out to ensure each and every child is registered at birth.

For almost 10 years, Plan International USA has been working with communities and governments in developing countries to ensure each and every child across the world is registered at birth. Plan believes that, in order to make people count, you first have to count children.

So, who needs to be counted?


More than a third of children do not have their births registered.

230 million children under the age of 5 are invisible because their births have not been registered. Of these, 85 million are in sub-Saharan Africa and 135 million are in Asia-Pacific.

Why do we need to count children?

The potential benefits are huge. When children have their births registered, it means they have documentary evidence of a legal identity and can prove who and how old they are.

Birth registration is a fundamental right of all children, no matter who they are or where they are from.

Failure to register births further marginalizes already vulnerable groups and decreases the likelihood of them being able to access their full rights as citizens of a country.

More than 100 developing countries still don’t have functioning systems that can support efficient registrations of births. This needs to change.

What is Plan Doing?

Since 2005, Plan has helped register 40 million children around the world and influence laws in 10 countries so that 153 million can enjoy the rights that come with a birth certificate.

Plan implements Count Every Child activities in 36 countries around the world and is implementing digital birth registration projects in four of those countries.

Plan International is recognized globally by governments, donors, development agencies, and the private sector as the leading NGO authority on birth registration.

We’re Going Digital

Digital Birth Registration can remove barriers to registration, such as distance to registration centers, high costs involved when registering a child, and complicated processes.

Digitized systems alone cannot improve birth registration rates. Attention must be given to addressing legal frameworks and public awareness.

Birth Registration in Emergencies

In emergency situations, universal birth registration can represent an important tool to ensure appropriate care for and protection of children against violence, abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

When children have their births registered, it makes it easier to trace their families and reunite them if they become separated.

Learn More About Plan’s “Count Every Child” Initiative:

Urgent Action Needed to Ensure Millions of Children Unregistered at Birth Are Kept in the Picture

Plan Works With UNICEF to Increase Birth Registration in the Sudan

Breaking the Chains of Poverty through Birth Registration

Birth Registration: Getting Everyone in the Picture

The Birthday Girl

Plan Uses Birth Registration to Combat Sex-Selective Abortion

Why a Tsunami Highlighted the Need to Count Every Child in Indonesia

Plan Uses Birth Registration to Combat Sex-Selective Abortion

Children without a Birth Certificate are 'Invisible' During Disasters

To Make People Count, We Need to Count People


 Keith Ealy December 25, 2014 2:12 PM
I am interested in donating a water buffalo to a family. Are you or do you work with Christian Organizations?
 Plan International USA December 31, 2014 10:18 AM
Hi Keith!

Thank you for your interest in our Gifts of Hope. We have forwarded your message over to our donor relations team and they will be emailing your shortly!