UNICEF, NPC target over 1m children for birth registration in Bauchi
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and National Population Commission (NPC) have mapped out birth registration of 1,080,984 under- five children across the 20 local councils of Bauchi State.
Speaking at a two-day stakeholders engagement meeting in Bauchi, yesterday, the UNICEF’s Bauchi Chief of Field Office, Dr. Tushar Rane, said that exercise targeted birth registration of, at least, 1,080,984 under-five children in Bauchi State.
He added that the relevant stakeholders were in synergy to achieve the goal.
“We would need the engagement, participation and full commitment of all stakeholders present today, in the state and in every local council.
Rane gave the importance of the registration to include legal identity, protection from exploitation and abuse, planning and development and citizens participation.
“Birth registration is the first step towards establishing legal identity. Without a Birth Certificate, a child may face difficulties in accessing basic services such as education and healthcare, as well as in exercising their rights as a citizen….”
“Protection from exploitation and abuse: children without birth certificates are at a higher risk of exploitation and abuse, as they are more vulnerable to child labour, child trafficking, and forced marriage.
“Planning and development: birth registration provides essential data for planning and development purposes, such as determining the number of school-aged children in a particular area, or assessing healthcare needs.
He added that birth registration was an important prerequisite for citizens participation in democratic processes, such as voting, as it provides proof of age and nationality.
“Overall, birth registration is an essential tool for protecting children’s rights and ensuring their access to basic services, as well as for promoting development and citizenship in Bauchi State and beyond,” he said.
The agency and NPC in collaboration with the Bauchi government, would engage ad-hoc staff to carry out the exercise in two phases this year.