Birth registration is a permanent and official proof of the existence of a child, which is essential for respecting her rights and satisfying her practical needs. Birth registration helps to ensure access to basic services such as immunization, health care and school enrolment. It is also a prerequisite for protection efforts to prevent child labour by enforcing laws that set the minimum age for labour, ensure that children in conflict with the law are not treated as adults (in law and in practice) and protect them from military service or recruitment into the military as minors. Registration also helps to combat child marriage, reduce child trafficking, and facilitates repatriation of children with their families.
In Mali, the law requires that a child be registered within 30 days of birth. However, for various reasons, such as lack of information among parents (especially in rural areas), and limited access to birth registration services, nearly half of Malian children are not registered immediately. Indeed, according to the Multiple Indices Cluster Survey conducted in 2010, only 80.8 per cent of Malian children were registered at birth.