Según cifras de UNICEF, publicadas en su reporte del 11 de diciembre, Venezuela tiene un subregistro de nacimientos de 19%, de los más bajos de Suramérica. (1 de cada 5 niños no existe). Solo en Bolivia y Paraguay el subregistro es mayor (24% en ambos países).
José Félix Oletta L.
Every Child’s Birth Right: Inequities and trends in birth registration

The Lancet, Volume 382, Issue 9910, Page 2040, 21 December 2013

doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62682-3Cite or Link Using DOI
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.
Birth registration: vital statistics

The Lancet
“To make people count, we first need to be able to count people”, said the late WHO Director-General Lee Jong-wook in an address to WHO staff a decade ago. He was referring to the sobering fact that most people in Africa and Asia were born and died without leaving a trace in any legal record or official statistic.
The Dec 11 release of the UNICEF report, Every Child’s Birth Right: Inequities and Trends in Birth Registration, provides a timely update—and paints a largely depressing picture—of birth registration rates, especially in countries most affected by weak health systems and conflict. The report estimates that in 2012, around 230 million children younger than 5 years—around one in three—did not have their births registered. The worst-performing country statistics speak for themselves: a registration rate of just 3% in Somalia, 7% in Ethiopia, 16% in Chad and Tanzania, and 27% in Pakistan.
But there are also some grounds for optimism, with the report highlighting progress in some sub-Saharan countries, and what it refers to as “a spectacular rise” of birth registration in South Africa, from 51% in 2001, to 95% in 2011. Policies to encourage birth registration by birth attendants and linking registration to social security entitlements have clearly worked.
6 years ago, The Lancet launched the Who Counts? Series, which sought to highlight the lack or inadequacy of civil registration systems, explaining the failure of countries to monitor, protect, and formulate effective health policies for their citizens. Who Counts? called for a rigorous international effort at global and country level to make birth and death registration an urgent priority for human development. The Lancet is planning to publish a new Series next year, which will include an assessment of progress made since 2007. It is timely that WHO has just convened a multi-agency meeting (Dec 17—18) to highlight how health sector innovations can promote a better system for civil registration and vital statistics systems at country levels. Outcomes from this meeting should serve to re-energise the spirit of Who Counts? and put birth and death registration firmly on the human development agenda. For health systems and future health plans to work, counting people really counts.

Full-size image (21K) UNICEF/NYHQ2007-2287/Roger LeMoyne

One in three children under-five does not officially exist – UNICEF

UNICEF releases new birth registration report on its own 67th birthday underscoring the importance of counting every child

NEW YORK, 11 December 2013 – On UNICEF’s 67th birthday today, the organization released a new report showing that the births of nearly 230 million children under-five have never been registered; approximately one in three of all children under-five around the world.
“Birth registration is more than just a right. It’s how societies first recognize and acknowledge a child’s identity and existence,” said Geeta Rao Gupta, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director. “Birth registration is also key to guaranteeing that children are not forgotten, denied their rights or hidden from the progress of their nations.”
The new report, Every Child’s Birth Right: Inequities and trends in birth registration, collects statistical analysis spanning 161 countries and presents the latest available country data and estimates on birth registration.
Globally in 2012, only around 60 per cent of all babies born were registered at birth. The rates vary significantly across regions, with the lowest levels of birth registration found in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
The 10 countries with the lowest birth registration levels are: Somalia (3%), Liberia (4%), Ethiopia (7%), Zambia (14%), Chad (16%), United Republic of Tanzania (16%), Yemen (17%), Guinea-Bissau (24%), Pakistan (27%) and Democratic Republic of the Congo (28%).
Even when children are registered, many have no proof of registration.  In Eastern and Southern Africa, for example, only about half of the registered children have a birth certificate. Globally, 1 in 7 registered children does not possess a birth certificate. In some countries, this is due to prohibitive fees. In other countries, birth certificates are not issued and no proof of registration is available to families.
Children unregistered at birth or without identification documents are often excluded from accessing education, health care and social security. If children are separated from their families during natural disasters, conflicts or as a result of exploitation, reuniting them is made more difficult by the lack of official documentation.
“Birth registration – and a birth certificate – is vital for unlocking a child’s full potential,” said Rao Gupta.  “All children are born with enormous potential. But if societies fail to count them, and don’t even recognize that they are there, they are more vulnerable to neglect and abuse. Inevitably, their potential will be severely diminished.”
Birth registration, as an essential component of a country’s civil registry, also strengthens the quality of vital statistics, aiding planning and government efficiency.
According to UNICEF, unregistered births are a symptom of the inequities and disparities in a society. The children most affected by these inequities include children from certain ethnic or religious groups, children living in rural or remote areas, children from poor households or children of uneducated mothers.
Programmes need to address the reasons that families do not register children, including prohibitive fees, unawareness of the relevant laws or processes, cultural barriers, and the fear of further discrimination or marginalization.
UNICEF is using innovative approaches to support governments and communities in strengthening their civil and birth registration systems. In Kosovo for example, the UNICEF Innovations Lab has developed an efficient, effective, and low-cost means of identifying and reporting unregistered births, built on the RapidSMS mobile-phone based platform.
In Uganda, the government – with support from UNICEF and the private sector – is implementing a solution called MobileVRS that uses mobile phone technology to complete birth registration procedures in minutes, a process that normally takes months.
“Societies will never be equitable and inclusive until all children are counted,” added Rao Gupta. “Birth registration has lasting consequences, not only for the child’s wellbeing, but also for the development of their communities and countries.”
UNICEF also released today A Passport to Protection: A guide to birth registration programming, a handbook for those working on birth registration, providing background information, general principles and a guide for programming.
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UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do.  Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. 

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