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Sudan: UN-backed drive to boost birth registration kicks off

Sudan: UN-backed drive to boost birth registration kicks off

A young mother breastfeeds her baby
A United Nations-backed campaign to boost birth registration was launched today in Sudan, where less than one-third of children have a birth certificate, leaving the unregistered vulnerable to abuse and at risk of being denied an education and other social services.

“Birth registration itself protects many other human rights that contribute in turn to a child’s successful development and protection,” said Per Engebak, acting Representative to Sudan of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), ahead of the unveiling of the new programme in the capital, Khartoum, by UN agencies, the Government of National Unity and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

“Without documented proof of age, a child is exposed to the risk of under-age recruitment, to exploitative child labour and to the evil of trafficking,” he said. “Without that simple piece of paper in their hands, children who are separated from their families in times of crisis may be unable to provide critical information that would help with their reunification.”

Data on births is also crucial for identifying resource needs and budgeting for social services.

The two-day workshop that began today, with the support of the UN, will help to find how to bring down the barriers to increasing registrations across Sudan.