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Aug 4, 2020

Ensuring Birth Registration for the Prevention of Statelessness

Four percent of the population in Belize is not registered at birth. An initiative to change that was launched today. The Belize Vital Statistics Unit, in partnership with the UN Refugee Agency, U.N.H.C.R., and the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, launched a new campaign to promote birth registration in Belize. The long term goal of the campaign is to reduce the risk of statelessness among the population and prompt unhindered access to basic rights, including education and healthcare.  Action seven of U.N.H.C.R.’s Global Action Plan calls on states to ‘ensure birth registration for the prevention of statelessness’, as birth certificates provide key information that assist children to confirm or acquire nationality.  The objective of action seven is that by 2024, there will be no cases of statelessness due to lack of birth registration.

 

Kerrie Williams

Kerrie Williams, Senior Protection Assistant, UNHCR

“UNCHR as a member of the National Birth Registration Steering Committee is committed to combating incidences that may lead to statelessness and encourages every steps taken toward birth registrations of not just every refugee child or asylum seeker child but every child born in Belize. It is our hope that every boy and every girl born in Belize is counted.”

 

Michel Guinand

Michel Guinand, Representative, UNICEF   

“A birth certificate is a child’s first form of legal identity. It is a lifelong passport for individuals to access and individual human rights and legal rights such as education, healthcare and other services. Every new born denied their right to be registered at birth are denied nationality and can also be denied life saving medical care, being banned from school or even refused to be given social support grants intended to help the world’s poorest.”

 

Khandi Cadle

Khandi Cadle, First Class Clerk, Vital Statistics Unit

“Our collective mission here today is to establish a collaborative effort to ensure that our Belizean children are registered countrywide.  But especially to the three geographic locations where this project is focused, support with the communication strategy to improve the birth registration in Belize.”


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