There will be no unregistered children in Kvemo Kartli: children without birth registration are deprived of all their rights
The Convention on the Rights of the Child states that every child has the right to a name and a nationality as well as an identity. Birth registration is a fundamental means of securing these rights for children.
RUSTAVI. 1 July 2008 – All unregistered children in Kvemo Kartli will be registered thanks to the joint efforts of the Ministry of Justice, the Civil Registry of Georgia, Kvemo Kartli regional administration, UNICEF and UNHCR. The project to ensure birth registration of all children deprived of their fundamental right in Kvemo Kartli is being launched today in the city of Rustavi, Georgia.
According to the UNICEF conducted survey, only 78 per cent of children in Kvemo Kartli are registered at birth, which is significantly lower than the national coverage of birth registration in Georgia, which stands at 92 per cent.
“It means that 22 per cent of children in Kvemo Kartli have less chance to enjoy their rights to be protected and to have equal access to early development, free and compulsory basic education, professional training and employment in adulthood, quality medical assistance, to range of social allowances and services that are established and offered by the government,” said Benjamin Perks, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Georgia. “It means that 22 per cent of unregistered children and their parents are more exposed to risks of abuse, violence and exploitation,” said Perks.
The project lasts for 10 months and will be implemented by the NGO “Legal Development and Consultations Group". It aims to reduce to a minimum the number of unregistered minors in Kvemo Kartli and to address the problems hindering civil registration. In particular, it plans to inform the population of the region about the importance of birth registration as well as the concrete procedures of the registration. The project will also identify and register all unregistered persons, establish birth-related facts for unregistered persons, register civil acts, provide legal consultation and resolve all those problems hindering the registration process. This process will include concrete policy and legal improvements related to birth registration.
“Birth registration is a foundation of all other rights of children and that is why it is so crucial to eliminate those obstacles preventing registration of children in the region,” said Benjamin Perks from UNICEF. “It is also important to note that the percentage of children under five whose birth is registered is an important indicator for a country’s development under the major international documents like the Convention on the Rights of the Child and World Fit for Children”, Perks added.
The main obstacles of birth registration in Kvemo Kartli include the limited knowledge of the population on the importance of birth registration, and facts regarding home deliveries among poor families and ethnic minorities. The majority of the Kvemo Kartli population represents various ethnic groups, with cultural and religious peculiarities and language barriers that also hinder the registration process. Non-existence of personal identification documents of parents is also an important impediment. If a parent does not have a personal identification document, he or she, as an applicant, is devoid of the possibility to address an authorized agency for registration of his or her child’s birth.
At this stage, establishment of birth as a legal fact is administered by the Civil Registry Agency and is free of charge.
The Kvemo Kartli region of Georgia consists of seven municipalities. The city of Rustavi is the administrative centre of the region and is situated 25 km away from the capital city, Tbilisi. The total population of the Kvemo Kartli region is 50 8300 (in 2007). The region is multiethnic with a big concentration of ethnic Armenians, Azeris and Greeks living alongside Georgians.