Child protection issue brief: birth registration
This UNHCR child protection issue brief focused on birth registration, which is especially important for children born to foreign or stateless parents, refugees, immigrants, asylum seekers and internally displaced persons.
The right to a name, identity, and to be registered at birth is a right of all children. This is stated in various human rights instruments, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child (Articles 7 and 8). Unfortunately, millions of children around the world continue to go unregistered. Despite increasing awareness and efforts to improve birth registration systems, many refugees, other displaced persons, and stateless persons often face significant barriers with respect to registering the birth of their children.
Having an effective birth registration system in place is an important first step to ensuring the protection of children. However, during emergencies, civil registration systems may be destroyed or made nonfunctional. Additionally, a host State may decide to restrict the right to be registered at birth for refugees, other displaced children, or those who are stateless. In these instances, the UN and international and national non-governmental organizations play an important role in supporting the development of systems that meet international standards and working towards access to birth registration for all children.