Birth registration and rights of the child


1 Introduction

Birth registration is defined as the ‘official recording of a child’s birth by the State’. It is also a lasting and official record of a child’s existence, which usually include the ‘name of the child, date and place of birth, as well as, where possible, the name, age or date of birth, place of usual residence and nationality of both parents.’

Birth registration is an internationally recognised fundamental right, it is recognised under Article 24 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which states that ‘every child shall be registered immediately after birth.’ The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) also stipulates that  

[t]he child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and, as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents.

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