Civil Registration Seminar for the first time starts in South Sudan: Counting and Accounting for every South Sudanese Citizen
JUBA, 13 February 2013 – Today marked the begnning os a two-day seminar focusing on civil registration in a bid to count and account for every South Sudanese citizen. The first of its kind in South Sudan, the seminar drew participation from Government, NGOs and UN agencies.
“The Government of South Sudan has placed great importance on the civil registration process and we are working in collaboration with UNICEF and other partners to ensure that every South Sudanese citizen is counted and accounted for,” said the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Makur Maker.
The civil registration process will be a continuous, permanent and compulsory recording of live births, deaths, foetal deaths, marriages, divorces, as well as annulments, judicial separations, adoptions, legitimations and recognitions.
“This event marks an important milestone since it is the first of its kind. Without civil registration, we cannot have meaningful data and this is a major concern because we cannot plan effectively for our citizens,” said the Deputy Chair of National Bureau of Statistics, Honourable JohnMaciek Acuoth.
Birth registration is an integral part of a civil registration system. With only 35% of births registered in South Sudan, many children are born outside health facilities where there is no provision of formal registration.
“Birth registration is a right of every child born in a country, whether citizen, refugee or otherwise. The ‘invisibility’ of non-registered children increases their vulnerability and the risk that violations of their rights will go unnoticed,” said UNICEF’s Representative, Dr. YasminAli Haque.
Birth registration is instrumental in safeguarding other human rights because it provides the official ‘proof’ of a child’s identity and legal existence.
“Birth registration gives a sense of belonging and ownership. It also gives every child an opportunity to enjoy services such as immunization,” said the Deputy Minister of health, Dr. Yatta Lugor.
The outcomes of this important event will provide a roadmap for the development and implementation of a civil registration system.
UNICEF remains committed to supporting the national efforts in the realization of this essential system.
For more information, please contact:
Siddhartha (Sid) Shrestha, Chief, Strategic Communication, UNICEF South Sudan.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +211 (0)925007005
Mercy Kolok, Communication Officer, UNICEF South Sudan
Mobile: + 211 (0) 955639658 Email:email@example.com