Child Protection and Social Protection

Child Protection and Social Protection


Strengthening Birth Registration

©UNICEFNamibia/2013/Matthew Dalling

Achieve universal birth registration.

Most vulnerable children.

Birth registration is a right and one of the main barriers to gain access to education, health and social welfare services.

Birth registration figures decreased from 70.4% in 2000 to 67.1% in 2006 and even fewer children have a birth certificates. There were also significant differences between regions with the total number of births registered in Kavango (one of poorest regions) being only 46%.

Since 2010, UNICEF has been supporting the Ministry of Home Affairs in scaling up birth registration through mobile campaigns in remote areas and hospital-based registration. The vast majority of babies in Namibia are born in health facilities with a skilled attendant (81%). Since 2011 hospital-based birth registration is possible in 21 high volume hospitals which has led to a rapid in-crease in the number of births registered.

Continuing technical support to the Ministry of Home Affairs will aim at overcoming remaining barriers to birth registration, including through communication for development to raise awareness and advocate behavior change, e.g. regarding when a baby traditionally can be named.

Data sources: Ministry of Gender database; Namibia Demographic and Health Survey 2006

By end of 2018 85% of vulnerable children and families will have birth registration certificates.

Indicator: Percentage of children under 5 whose births are registered

UNICEF in Action

Birth registration is a critical service. It opens up a world of health care and social services for a child. It provides access to education and protection. Birth registration can help provide an inheritance. It also creates a permanent record of a child’s existence. Birth registration is available in Namibia through hospitals and mobile campaigns in remote and hard-to-reach parts of the country. Yet, late registration is a major challenge in Namibia.

UNICEF and the Government of Namibia began a major push towards universal birth registration in 2007. In the years that followed, UNICEF and partners worked closely with the Government to generate evidence, build cross-sectoral partnerships and advocate to make birth registration a priority. As part of the broader initiative to strengthen civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) systems across Africa, UNICEF supported key ministries to develop a CRVS Strategic Plan, which forms the road map to action on birth registration and related civil registration systems for years to come.





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