Burkina Faso: Accelerating Birth registration
By Jean-Jacques NDUITA
Ouagadougou, 3 May 2009- Like in many other developing countries, millions of children in Burkina Faso are not enjoying fully their rights, including access to basic social services. They make their way through life, impoverished, abandoned, malnourished and uneducated. They are simply in danger of being forgotten as they have gone unregistered. Article 7 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child states that every child has the right to have his or her birth registered.
Out of sight, out of mind… out of reach
Over the past three years, Burkina Faso has made considerable progress in increasing birth registration. The last National Population Census in 2006 estimates show that 63, 7% of children under five have been registered in Burkina Faso, compared to 33% in 2003. Despite these flattering figures, glaring disparities still prevail among various population groups concerning birth registration, especially among the most vulnerable children. The same Census shows that 60% of girls have not been registered at the Registry Office. An estimated 36% out of 8 million of children under 20 do not have National identity cards. Geographical inaccessibility – most of people in rural areas, especially live at least 10 km away from the nearest registry offices, the high cost of birth registration, understaffed public services, illiteracy and poor outreach communication are major underlying causes of this situation.
Reaching out to children missing out
The Government of Burkina Faso will work on a decentralized basis to make sure the most vulnerable child of the remote area is not out of reach.“Registry offices will be provided additional equipments and financial supports to face the growing number of demands that might stem from the recently-launched campaign” said Burkinabé Prime Minister, Tertius Zongo at the launching of the campaign. On the other hand, emphasizes will also be put on awareness raising to inculcate birth registration systematic mindset among populations. “This is another purpose of the campaign”, he added. The Ministry of Human Rights has been tasked to establish birth certificates for every Burkinabé and foreign child born in Burkina for twelve months.
UNICEF and Plan International, among others have joined forces to make this