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Mozambique, 3 March 2017: From undocumented to filled with rights

© UNICEF Mozambique

By Neidi de Carvalho, Child Protection Specialist

NAMPULA, Mozambique – Over the past several years, I have often travelled to the field to document the birth registration program on behalf of UNICEF Mozambique. I have witnessed many cases of children deprived of their basic rights because they did not have a birth certificate.

Recently, in Nampula province – a province located in the north of the Mozambique and which is the most populous province in the country – I noticed that the employment opportunities in various private companies and extractives were increasing. However, Nampula has a low birth registration rate and the opportunities of employment were not benefiting the many of the people living in the surrounding rural areas of the companies because much of the population there lacked official documentation. It was the people from urban areas, who have official documentation, who were getting most of the jobs. This reality left me more determined to help get people from rural areas access to the birth certificates and official documents that will help improve the quality of their lives and the lives of their children.

© UNICEF Mozambique

Work is also being done to improve the services of civil registration through the rehabilitation of conservatories in Nampula and throughout the country, with support from the Canadian High Commission in Mozambique. I, as a Mozambican, will feel much better knowing my official documents are stored in much safer place, where the risks of being damaged by water and other hazards are minimized.

These projects are helping the population, especially the children, have easier and faster access to birth certificates and identification cards, ensuring that the parents are able to obtain formal employment with access to all their rights, and that their children will be able to attend school and dream of a better future. The happiness I witness on the faces of the fathers and mothers during these campaigns are priceless. They know that they are receiving something precious – they now exist by the law and have the opportunity to have better lives and give better opportunities to their children.

UNICEF Mozambique fulfills children’s right to a name and birth certification, supporting a free birth certificate and civil identification campaign. This campaign, implemented by the Government of Mozambique, started in 2014 and has given more than 130,000 people birth certificates and 25,000 identification cards in the districts of Rapale, Ribaue, Mecuburi, Malema and Murrupula, in the northern province of Nampula. Many thanks to the generous financial support of the company Lurio Green Resources and the Royal Embassy of Sweden in Mozambique, who have supported the programme.

For more information, please contact:
Claudio Fauvrelle, Tel +258 21 481 100, email:



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