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The News (Monrovia)

21 April 2011

BRAVO joins Gov't Birth Registration Campaign


An Italian faith-bersed organization, Birth Registration lor AII Versus Oblivion (BRAVO), has formally launched its birth registration projec.t in Liberia. The BRAVO Project is to buttress government's ongoing carnpaign to ensure that every Liberian child has a birth certificate. The organization operates in Asia, America, Burkina Faso and sub-Saharan Africa to help leaders in their respective countries have proper identities for their citizens.

Addressing a news conference Tuesday in Monrovia the head of BRAVO delegation visiting Liberia said about 70 percent of the world population lives in countries espeeially Africa with birth registration systems are incomplete or insuffi cient. Madam Valeria Gutterez said out of the estintated 150 million children born every year, one third (51 million) are not registered at birth, deseribing it as unfair to the welfare of the children. Madam Gutterez said' in suL"r-Saharan Africa u,h ich Liberia is a part the rate of birth registration is the lowest in the worid, ranging from 55 percent to 67 percent. According to her this indicates that tr,vo out of three children born are not registered, lvhich she said is posing seriously Underming campaign in sub-Saharan African countries to know legitimate status of their population.

She said the project which is being implemented by their local partners, Community of Sant'Egidio based in Liberia, is e urrently operating in Montserrado and Maryland counties in ensuring that the legal statrrs of children in the country are respected at all levels. Madam Gutterez said birth registration is the offieial recognition of the legal existence of a child, and is considered a fundamental right, under Article 7 of the United Nations Convention on the right ofthe children. She indicated that children of the country will be allorved in the future to fully enioy their democratic life in life if they are denied the opportr"rnities to obtain their birth cerlifie ate. Gutterez said though the government has announced that birth certificnte for zero to 12 month old children free of charge , the process needs massive awareness throughout the Countr)' to eclrrcate parents about iis significance. She noted that unless proper mechanism is put into place by relevant institutions to bultress such effort by government, the intent of the campaign would be a merejoke.

Also addressing the news c o n f e r e n c e, t h e Coordinator for Community of Sant'Egidio, BRAVO's implementing organization in Liberia said prior to the launch of the project, more than 190 families have so far been sensitized to prioritize their chi ldren's birth registration. Mr. Abraham Fahnbulleh said the sensitization campaign u,as carried out in Mary County and two populated sommunities in Montserrado County, including West point and PHP community on the UN Drive. Mr. Fahnbulleh said they would ensLlre tl-rat all parents in the country be educated on the importance of obtaining their children's birth certificatc as was successfully done in other countries where the organ ization operated.

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