Today, 49% of children in the world’s poorest countries are denied formal birth registration.
Caption: One year old Ruth Finneran shows off her birth cert to mark Human Rights Day 2013
“Birth registration is a child’s first right,” said Rosemary Heenan, Trócaire’s Director in Somalia, where just 3% of babies under five years old are registered at birth. “Without a birth certificate, you do not legally exist. You are not able to prove who you are, who your parents are or where you were born. You cannot access legal, social or economic protection from the state and cannot claim your rights. Children without birth certificates can be denied education and healthcare and are at a higher risk of trafficking, exploitation and abuse.”
One of the Trócaire’s Christmas Gifts is the gift of a birth certificate record for babies in Somalia (€15). This will give mothers formal documentation regarding their babies’ birth date and location.
There is currently no state registration system in Somalia. But once a state system is established, this document can be used to register these children. In the last two years, the organisation has issued 4,842 birth records for newborns in Somalia through its hospitals in Belet Xaawo and Luuq districts in Gedo.
“In the world today, almost half of all babies are invisible. This Human Rights Day, Trócaire is highlighting the need for all the world’s children to have their most fundamental right – their identity, legally recognised – so that their precious lives are counted,” said Rosemary.
Find out more about Trócaire’s Gift of a Birth Cert by visiting the Trócaire Gifts website
or calling 1850 408 408. Trócaire One4all Gift cards, which are an easy way to make a donation to Trócaire as a Christmas gift for a loved one, can also be bought in post offices nationwide or on one4all.ie