The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is pushing a crusading to reiterate that birth certificates are the right of every newborn and are an important documents to provides the foundation for the rights of children as citizens of the world.
The crusade is in collaboration with the African Union (AU) and is calling for the inclusion of the birth certificate in the coronavirus packages for children.
This call by the UNICEF is coming at a time where for political reasons, the Supreme Court of Ghana has totally debased birth certificates and have described them as “useless” as a form of identification.
According to the court’s judgment, birth certificates are no proof of nationality.
The judgment has been widely slammed as senseless by the public and it came at a time that the country had a fully functioning Births and Deaths Registry.
Also, the National Identification Authority has been registering Ghanaians for the Ghana Card but the starting age is from 15 years and above. Consequently, all citizens who are below 15 years, have no way of proving their citizenship, according to the Supreme Court’s reasoning.
The Supreme Court decision in Ghana basically gave the Electoral Commission (EC) to eliminate birth certificates as part of the primary documents needed before voters could be registered into the new voters’ register.
Incidentally, the acceptable primary documents for registration-the Ghana ID card and the Ghana passport, all need birth certificates as their primary requirements.
UNICEF’s new call wants digitization of birth certificate registration to make it easier and more accessible.
“Without a birth certificate, a child is unaccounted and excluded from enjoying universal human rights and benefiting from child and social protection programs,” UNICEF tweeted.
The tweet added, “UNICEF and the African Union call for the inclusion of birth registration services in coronavirus recovery packages and for the digitalization of birth registration services.”