50m baby births not registered each year
By Sarah Womack, Social Affairs Correspondent (Filed: 04/06/2002)
(ed comment: How do they KNOW, if they're not
Nearly 50 million babies worldwide go unregistered every year, meaning
legal terms that they do not exist, says a report today.
Tony Blair and other world leaders were urged to lead a campaign for
universal registration to stop child trafficking and illegal adoption
rings, and restore the rights of "invisible" children across
Research by the United Nations Children's Fund estimates that 41 per
of births in the world go unregistered, undermining a child's right to
identity, name and nationality.
"These children have no birth certificate, the 'membership card'
society that should open the door to education and health care,"
"They are invisible when important policy and budget decisions are
It said special efforts must be made to reach children who may have lost
parents or been born to those affected by HIV/Aids.
In later life, the unregistered child may be unable to apply for a
passport, formal job or get a marriage licence.
Unregistered children are also a more attractive commodity to a child
trafficker, illegal adoption rings and others who seek to take advantage
Countries where significant numbers of children go unregistered include
Cambodia, where registration records were destroyed under the Pol Pot
regime, and China.
It is estimated that the number of unregistered children in China may be
high as six million.
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