Nadja Kassam, Child Protection Specialist Birth Registration, UNICEF talks about birth registration and how it protects children. The proof of identity, a piece of paper, is a child’s right. They have shifted to action.
Civil registration and vital statistics is a continuum and is a governance tool, enabling planning and population development.
They have moved from laborious paper based systems to SMS messaging and technology to enable documentation.
Story from Ukraine: 16 year old girl was enticed to Turkey to a job in a department store. She was put into a brothel and forced into prostitution. She was arrested when the brothel was raided. The power of her identity and the assistance of NGOs enabled her to prove she was underage, and escape prosecution and return home.
The power of the birth certificate enabled one underage girl in India to approach her village leader, show her age, and escape forced marriage. The leader spoke up for her, and she continued her education rather than being married.
The last girl/ boy is a question that Nadya Kassam raises: how do we reach the Peruvian boy in a remote community?
There were multiple parents coming forward to claim the same child in a hurricane. To prove parentage, DNA tests had to be carried out.
Issue of privacy is raised on how to keep each child’s data private.