UN Human Rights Council 27th Session, Intervention under Agenda Item 2&3 General Debate “Birth Registration and the right of everyone to recognition everywhere as a person before the law”

Mehmet Ferden ÇARIKÇI 12.09.2014
Mr. President,

We would like to thank the Office of the High Commissioner for having prepared the comprehensive report on “Birth Registration and the right of everyone to recognition everywhere as a person before the law”.

Last year Turkey, together with Mexico, was the main sponsor of the Resolution 22/7 that required this report.

We attach great importance to birth registration, known as the “first right” that paves the way to all other human rights. It provides an official record of the existence of a person and the recognition of a person before the law.

Despite the legal obligations on states, 230 million children under the age of 5 are still not registered at birth. The lack of birth registration deprives individuals from having proper access to services and from the enjoyment of human rights. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to determine and to lift barriers to birth registration. That’s the reason why we believe that this issue deserves to figure on the agenda of the Human Rights Council.

With its findings, this report will further contribute to raise international awareness on this important issue. As duly mentioned in the report, “the provision of information to the community and social awareness of birth registration are among the most valuable tools in encouraging birth registration”.

The report also well reflects the various negative impacts of non-registration on human rights, namely right to education, right to health or citizenship and in many primary issues, such as child labour, early and forced marriage, human trafficking or sale of children.

Concerning the implementation challenges, the report makes more visible different problems faced by many countries in ensuring birth registration. Now, being aware of the specific challenges, we hope this report will guide the international community to better address the issue of non-registration.

Finally, we also call on states to take in consideration birth registration problems while formulating recommendations during the UPR reviews in order to further increase awareness.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Atatürk

Sadık Arslan Ambassador

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