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Birth Registration Day 2009 : Call for accelerated birth registration of vulnerable children

Dhaka 3 July, 2009:  National Birth Registration Day 2009 is being observed today with a call to ensure birth registration of the most vulnerable and excluded children, including refugees and children living in the remote corners of the country. Implementation of a national electronic birth registration system is crucial to ensure this and provide birth certificates for all by the year 2010. The electronic birth registration system also conforms to the dream of materializing a "digital Bangladesh".

A total of 79.7 million people, which is around 55.7 per cent of the total population, had received a birth certificate by March 2009, of these approximately 38.3 million are children. The manual registration system currently used causes delays in the issuance of certificates. More human resources and infrastructure support are required to meet the goal of birth registration for all.

“Every child has the right to be registered and the right to have a name. These are rights that all children should enjoy and these are enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child ratified by Bangladesh in 1990. Specially, it is important to ensure birth registration of the children who are living in the hard-to-reach areas of the country such as char and haor areas, children without parents and, refugee children to save them from exploitation and ensure their access to basic services,” said Carel de Rooy, UNICEF Representative in Bangladesh in his speech at the ceremony.

Dr. A F.M Ruhual Haque, Minister Health and Family Welfare was present as the chief guest while Dr. Sayed Modasser Ali, Adviser to Prime Minster for Health and Family Welfare and Jahangir Kabir Nanaok Minister for Rural Development and Cooperatives were present as special guests at a ceremony held in the Osmani Memorial Hall in the capital this morning.

The day was also marked by a colourful rally led by Rural Development and Cooperatives Minister Jahangir Kabir Nanaok from the city’s Nagar Bhaban to the National Press Club and cultural programme run by 'Chapai Gambheera'group. The day was also observed nationally through various programmes.

The Committee on the Rights of the Child which met in Geneva on June 3rd 2009 recommended the government to accelerate the birth registration process by using mobile registration to reach remote areas and introducing an electronic birth registration system. 

The Government of Bangladesh officially declared 3 July as Birth Registration Day in 2007 to highlight the importance of birth registration for every child and adult in the country. But limited capacity of the government and a manual birth registration system has inhibited the acceleration of the birth registration process.

Birth registration is a means of securing rights such as access to services and state benefits: immunisation, healthcare and education. For children, birth registration is a protective tool; by certifying their legal age, children are less exposed to employment, early marriage, commercial sexual exploitation, conflict with the law and child trafficking. Birth registration data is also crucial for social development planning, policy and budget decisions, becoming a fundamental step towards good governance, which fosters democratic development.

  • A.K.M.Saiful Islam Chowdhury
    Project Director (Joint Secretary)
    Birth and Death Registration Project.
    Central Transport Pool Building (Room # 908)
    Secretariat Link Road, Dhaka-1000.
    Phone: 9556606 (Office)
               01716206557 (Mobile)
  •  Arifa S. Sharmin
    Communication Specialist,
    UNICEF, Dhaka
    +8802 9336701-10/Ext. 442





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