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.