When it came time to get your driver license, you pulled out your birth certificate. When you needed to visit the doctor or apply to college, you had to present some form of identification. You were accounted for because you had documentation. But did you know that one in three babies across the world are born without any kind of birth registration? 49% of children under the age of five have no recorded birth, making them virtually invisible. This invisibility leaves children vulnerable and disadvantaged within their communities and their governments.
Having your birth registered means that there is documented evidence of a legal identity, proving who you are and how old you are; this is every child’s right. Without proper registration these children struggle to access healthcare, attend school, and receive vaccinations. Unregistered kids are more likely to be forced into child labor, arrested, and tried as an adult. These children are often coerced into armed forces, child marriages, and even becoming trafficked. Nicolete Panta, the Advocacy Manager of Plan International claims, “The position now is, if you are invisible, you are vulnerable.”
Plan International works side-by-side with communities in 50 developing countries in order to end the cycle of children in poverty. Plan International strives for long-term sustainability and the growth of communities by introducing projects that include clean water, healthcare programs and child protection initiatives. In 2005, Plan International started a project called Count Every Child. Since then this initiative has helped to register 40 million children around the world and influence laws in 10 different countries. Count Every Child is implementing a Digital Birth Registration project, which is currently effective in 4 countries.
If you want to be a part of giving these children a legal identity or want to learn more about Plan International’s Count Every Child initiative, visit UniversalGiving!