World Fit For Children Goal: Develop systems to ensure the registration of every child at or shortly after birth, and fulfill his or her right to acquire a name and a nationality, in accordance with national laws and relevant international instruments.
Around 51 million children born in 2006 have not had their births registered. Forty-four per cent of these children live in South Asia.
Two out of three African children under age five are not registered. In some countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, registration levels have actually declined during the past five years. Cost and distance to the registration centre are the reasons most frequently cited by parents for not registering their children.
Some countries have achieved universal registration and others report having made significant progress in increasing birth registration since 2000. Ensuring that birth registration systems are in place, simplifying procedures, removing fees, making registry offices more accessible and creating effective information campaigns to reach all sectors of society are vital if registration rates are to improve.
Source: UNICEF global databases, 2008, based on MICS, DHS, other national surveys and civil registration system data, 2000–2007