`Children Voices` as Change Agents in Promotion of Birth Registration
Released on: July 18, 2008, 2:11 am
Press Release Author: Plan India
Industry: Non Profit
Press Release Summary: The registration of births and deaths has been made compulsory under the Registration of Births & Deaths (RBD) Act, 1969. As a signatory to the U. N. Convention on the \'Rights of the Child\', 1989 India has a responsibility to ensure registration of all births. Though more than 35 years have passed since the enactment of the legislation, the level of birth registration is still not satisfactory.
Press Release Body: Hyderabad 23rd May 2008: - Respect for human rights begins and may be measured in the way society treats its children. Advocating for birth registration is among the first rights of the child. Arthik Samata Mandal (ASM) & Plan India, a child-centered development organization conducted a workshop on "Children's voices play a role of change agents to achieve Universal Birth Registration" in Hyderabad today. Issues and successful case studies in the area of birth registration in the state were highlighted on the occasion.
The registration of births and deaths has been made compulsory under the Registration of Births & Deaths (RBD) Act, 1969. As a signatory to the U. N. Convention on the \'Rights of the Child\', 1989 India has a responsibility to ensure registration of all births. Though more than 35 years have passed since the enactment of the legislation, the level of birth registration is still not satisfactory.
Plan India has been engaging with the Office of the Registrar General, India and State Registrars' offices in the states of Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, towards the strengthening of the existing system of birth registration in India. It is implementing the project through different strategies at the National and State level in collaboration with respective governments to ensure sustainability.
Andhra Pradesh with recording of about 61% of births falls just below the national birth registration figures of over 63%. The state ranks in the mid range performing states (with registration between 50% to 80%). Within the state, however the percentage of registration varies by as much as 35% from district to district. Reporting is a key issue in Andhra Pradesh and many districts are low performers.
Given the above picture ASM-Plan India launched the UBR campaign in January 2006 in nine districts of Andhra Pradesh in collaboration with the Government and community based NGOs in Visakhapatnam, East Godavari, Nellore, Chittoor, Karimnagar, Adilabad, Krishna, Nalgonda and Nizamabad.
NGOs, civil society organizations & children can play a crucial role in strengthening the hand of the government in improving registration services. With their comparative advantage of being in direct contact with the people, they have the potential to be a catalyst for change, facilitating registration & thereby ensuring the first and basic right of a child. In the past these partnerships have also played a facilitative role in dissemination of knowledge and information on birth registration to the most marginalized communities and could help the state governments to reach out to the most vulnerable children.
Involving children in their own development positively impacts all realms -the personal, familial, community and the institutional. Children's participation helps in promoting the birth registration builds their capacity to influence their own development and welfare, in persuading their parents to register them and their siblings and also overcome divisions among various stakeholders by acting as a unifying element. In the 9 districts of AP, children have been involved in creative and innovative programs such as essay writing, group discussion, elocutions, drawings, street plays, rallies, signature & post card campaign, sports activities to create awareness on the issue. Children are also using the assembly ground to disseminate the importance and value of the certificate.
Last year participation of NGOs, civil society organizations & children in advocating on their own rights in Andhra Pradesh has helped to touch percentage of registration to 85 in Nizamabad district. In future "Child Reports" in the community will play an active role in spreading awareness.
Plan has been a key player in promoting Universal birth registration for children across the world. India, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh and Nepal are some of the countries where Plan has made significant investments in birth registration.
About Plan India Plan India is a child-centered development organization that aims to promote Child Rights and improve the quality of life of vulnerable children. Plan India is a part of Plan, founded in 1937 after the Spanish Civil War and currently works in 68 countries. In India, Plan works in 13 states and has directly impacted lives of over a million children and their families since 1979 and empowered them to realize their potential.
Our child centered community development interventions focus on Child Protection and Child Participation, Children in Difficult Circumstances, Health, Education, HIV / AIDS, Early Childhood Care and Development, Water and Environment Sanitation, Disaster Preparedness, Household Economic and Social Security and Community Governance. Visit http://www.planindia.org for more information.
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