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Universal Birth Registration (UBR)
Birth registration is the official record of a child’s birth by a government, that establishes legal identity. It is a fundamental human right enshrined in Articles 7 and 8 of the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which gives every child the right to be registered at birth by the State within whose jurisdiction she/he is born. Birth registration also serves as a prerequisite to the realization of other human rights integral to a child’s development and well-being. It is a crucial first step towards building a protective environment against abuse, exploitation, violence and statelessness.
The UBR Working Group
The UBR Working Group was established in early 2012 after two years of informal activities. The group’s primary purpose is to promote universal birth registration through United Nations human rights and humanitarian bodies, as well as other key institutions. The current objectives are to:
- Mobilize interested NGOs, including child rights groups and others, in Geneva and elsewhere to support advocacy initiatives on behalf of universal birth registration.
- Engage key mechanisms, such as the Human Rights Council, Special procedures and the Committee on the Rights of the Child in support of universal birth registration and the conclusion.
- Make targeted interventions on appropriate/relative occasions in the UNHCR calendar of campaign events. Explore additional avenues for promoting birth registration in Geneva, New York and beyond through use of collaboration and advocacy aligned with efforts taking place/occurring in the field.
Anticipated Opportunities for Advocacy for UBR
In Geneva and beyond there will be several occasions to raise birth registration issues. Some occur on a regular basis. Thus, plans can be made in advance to lobby to improved standards in legislation, policies and practices to ensure that everyone can be engaged. These events include:
- The annual UN General Assembly Third Committee on human rights in NY
- The Committee on the Rights of the Child country review process in Geneva
- The Human Rights Council sessions and Universal Periodic Review processes in Geneva
- Regional and national meeting on children, refugees, IDPs, or stateless people; and other marginalized groups who may not have proper identification.
Membership in the UBR Working Group
The UBR Working Group welcomes the active participation of peer organizations. If your organization would like to join the working group or requires more information, please contact Anne-Sophie Lois or Denise Allen.
Current members of the working group include
- Arigatou International
- Asylum Access
- Community and Family Services International
- Friends World Committee for Consultation (Quaker United Nations Office)
- International Observatory on Statelessness
- Plan International
- Refugees International
- Truth and Reconciliation for the Adoption Community of Korea (TRACK)
- World Vision International