It is expected that there will be 115 million unregistered children by 2030 in Sub-Saharan Africa alone, creating an ‘invisible generation’.
A Birth certificate is the first document issued to newborns and is crucial for accessing government services such as education and this document allow governments to budget and reduce the risk of child being trafficked or ending up in child labor.
Furthermore, The right to be registered immediately after birth, having a name, and acquiring a nationality is every child’s right, enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Yet the births of one fourth of children under the age of five worldwide have never been officially recorded. Registering children at birth is the first step in securing their recognition before the law, safeguarding their rights, and ensuring that any violation of these rights does not go unnoticed.
Birth registration is not only a fundamental human right in and of itself, but also key to ensuring the fulfilment of all other rights. Most countries have mechanisms in place for registering births. However, regions in sub-Saharan Africa, Central, Eastern and Southern Africa have lower than 50% birth registration rates.
The barriers to registration take a different shape and form within different countries, and within different regions in the same countries. It is a complex problem where culture, traditions, and religion also hinder the efforts of registration.
Through literature, studies, and market research, we can draw on the commonality and weakness of current birth registration systems being paper-based.
Beyond paper being fragile, easy to lose and hard to verify, paper based identity systems carry hidden costs measured in time and money, like the cost of transport, multiple stamps, and fees.
It was obvious that digital is a great solution, it can reduce the time of registration from days to minutes, and the cost of registration from multiple dollars to cents.
Through digital IDs, citizens would be able to benefit from a one-step, one-visit registration systems. Governments would be able to free their staff and have them focus on other public duties, and consider extra revenues through increased registrations.
Hence we are advocating for using digital birth registration systems to reduce the numbers of invisible children, and leveraging the benefits of Blockchain as technology in building resilient identity systems.
Whether using it as a tool to protect data from fraud and tampering, or as means of digital payments for birth registrations, blockchain has huge potential for creating good impact, only if humans intended too, because it is not the technology that does the change, but humans do.
We dont believe in hope to bring justice for the world’s invisible children, but in deeds. Our action together will turn the invisible children into invincibles ones.
Joins us in our mission to have zero invisible children by 2030, and achieving UNSDG 16.9 – By 2030 provide legal identity for all, including birth registration.