Blog: From undocumented to filled with rights
By Neidi de Carvalho, Child Protection Specialist.
Nampula, Mozambique - I have been to the field many times in the past years while working for UNICEF in Mozambique to document the birth registration program and witnessed many cases of children deprived of their basic rights due to not having a birth certificate. Recently I have been to Nampula province, located in the north of Mozambique, which is also the most populous province in Mozambique, and with a low birth registration rate.
I noticed that the employment opportunities in various private companies and extractives are increasing in this province, however, this was not benefiting those people living in the surrounding rural areas of the companies due to the lack of official documentation by the population. So we have people from urban areas, who have official documentation, getting most of these jobs. This really left me sad and more determined of the work I’m doing with UNICEF, to get these people from rural areas access to birth certificates and official documents that will help improve the quality of their lives and of their children.
Another great news is the working been done on improving the services of the civil registration staff by rehabilitating the conservatories buildings not only in Nampula but a little throughout the country, with the support of the Canadian High Commission in Mozambique. I, as a Mozambican, will feel much better having an establishment up to par with the importance of its work and knowing my official documents are stored in much safer place, where the risks of being damaged by water and other hazards are minimized.
These projects are helping the population, especially the children, have easier and faster access to birth certificates.
These projects are helping the population, especially the children, have easier and faster access to birth certificates and identification cards, ensuring that the parents are able to obtain formal employment with access to all their rights and that their children will be able to attend school and dream of a better future. The happiness I witness on the faces of the fathers and mothers during these campaigns are priceless, especially because they are not receiving food aid or free medicine, but they know that now they are receiving something just as precious, they now exist by the law and have the opportunity to have better lives and give better opportunities to their children.
UNICEF Mozambique fulfills children’s right to a name and birth certification supporting a free birth certificate and civil identification campaign.
This campaign implemented by the Government of Mozambique, which started in 2014, has resulted in more than 130 thousand people with birth certificates and 25 thousand with identification cards in the districts of Rapale, Ribaue, Mecuburi, Malema and Murrupula, in the northern province of Nampula, thanks to the generous financial support of the company Lurio Green Resources and the Royal Embassy of Sweden in Mozambique, with a total value of $US 5,253,294.
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