Convention on the Rights of the Child     PDF of Core UN document protecting children’s rights. Article 7 provides for the registration of the birth of all children.

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights    Access the Covenant on Civil & Political Rights via the UN OHCHR website.

UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples  PDF of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Birth Registration: Right from the Start  (pdf) UNICEF Innocenti Digest from 2002 devoted specifically to birth registration and certification issues

The ‘Rights’ Start to Life: A Statistical Analysis of Birth Registration 2005 (pdf) UNICEF statistical comparison of birth registration problems on a global basis

The State of the World’s Children  2006 - Excluded and Invisible  (pdf) The Annual UNICEF report in 2006 focused on processes, including lack of birth registration, which can lead to exclusion of children from access to essential services such as education, health & housing and a safe environment.

UNICEF Good practice in integrating birth registration into health systems (2000-2009) (pdf) A valuable document by M. Muzzi which looks at means of increasing birth registration through development of closer ties between registration processes and the health system in parts of S. America, Southern Africa and Asia.

Progress for Children: Achieving the MDGs with Equity (No. 9) - Achieving the MDGs with Equity (pdf) This 2010 UNICEF report looks at International progress in attaining Millennium Development Goals relating to children, including progress on birth registration

Technical Paper on Birth Registration - Global Partners Forum on Children Affected by HIV and AIDS (pdf) This paper from Nicola Sharp, provides a valuable summary of birth registration the world over & points to a variety of factors that inhibit its effective development and promotion.

“The strange hidden world of the stateless - Refugees, 2007 vol. 147 (3)” (pdf) This edition of UNHCR’s “Refugees” magazine looks at the problem of statelessness. It highlights the fact that problems caused by the absence of birth certification and registration are not limited to poor nations.

Other Publications

“Stateless - Forced Migration Review - April 2009”  (pdf) This edition of the Forced Migration Review (from Oxford University’s Department of International Development) is focused on the problems of the stateless & contains substantial information about problems with birth registration and certification.

Strategic analysis on civil registration and children in the context of HIV and Aids  (pdf) In Sub-Saharan Africa birth registration has been seen as a matter of substantial importance in planning and program development associated with the HIV/Aids epidemic there. This working paper provides a useful overview.

Every Child Counts: Birth registration in Kosovo  (pdf) This 2009 publication provides details of UNICEF research into problems with birth registration in Kosovo. Amongst other matters it highlights low registration rates within some ethnic minority groups, together with substantial regional variations.

Social Inclusion of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians in Southern Europe  (pdf) In 2008 and 2009 UNHCR mounted extensive outreach and awareness campaigns targeting the marginalized minorities, authorities and the general public. In parallel, legal aid partners provided free legal advice and direct legal assistance to Roma individuals and other minorities to acquire citizenship, alien residence permits, civil registration and personal documents. This booklet provides information about the experiences which it unveiled.

Children Without a State  - A global Human Rights Challenge (ed. Jaqueline Bhaba)  (book/ebook - available for purchase as eText from MIT, Amazon, & other sources. ) This 2011 MIT publication highlights the problems of statelessness  and identification in both Western  and non-Western nations. It draws attention to a widespread problem of “effective statelessness” , of those who, despite having both a nationality and legal status, are unable to exercise their rights because of the absence of necessary documentary proof. Highly recommended.

3 Core UN documents of relevance to Birth Registration & Certification of Indigenous People

UNICEF, UNHCR & other UN publications dealing with Birth Registration and related matters

Plan International publications on Birth Registration

Partner organisation, Plan International, has developed an excellent series of publications dealing with the problems of birth registration and certification in many parts of the world, and the approaches which they have taken to overcome them. They can be accessed from the webpage linked here.

Some useful resources available on-line for those who wish to pursue the International human rights issues involved with birth registration and identification further. For articles with a more specifically Australian focus, see our own Publications page.