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About 175,000 vulnerable children received birth certificates in Yemen

UNICEF Yemen/2015/Civil Registration Authority Al Hudaydah
© UNICEF Yemen/2015/Civil Registration Authority Al Hudaydah

By Soraya Abu Monassar, UNICEF Yemen

Sana’a, Yemen, 17 December 2015 - “Birth registration is a door to everything and every place, as it grants legal status not only education. It is our role as parents to ensure this basic entitlement is fulfilled.”- said Abdulrahman, a father of two children from Taiz governorate.

Although many families now understand the necessity of registering their children’s births, they still don’t always make sure this happens.

Nearly 83 per cent of children under five in Yemen are without a birth certificate, have no legal identity and are therefore invisible. The lack of a birth certificate can have serious and negative effects on the life opportunities, especially for children. Without birth certificates, healthcare, education and other basic social services are often very difficult to access.

Despite the conflict and instability throughout 2015, UNICEF with the support of the European Union has continued to engage with the Civil Registration Authority (CRA) to promote birth registration and register as many children as possible.

Between September 2014 and March 2015, rapid birth registration campaigns were organized for the first time in 43 districts of nine governorates in Yemen (Taiz, Ibb, Al Mahweet, Al Hudaydah, Hajjah, Sa’ada, Sana’a, Al Dhale’e and Lahj). Almost 160,000 marginalized, disadvantaged and most vulnerable girls and boys were provided with birth certificates through mobile teams, in Child Friendly Schools –also supported by UNICEF and Muhammasheen areas. Additionally, about 15,000 birth certificates have been issued for children in need, identified through UNICEF supported Child Friendly Spaces.

At the same time, parents at household level, community members and community/religious leaders received awareness on the importance of birth registration through awareness sessions and distribution of key messages.

 

 
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