Ten years ago, Plan International launched a campaign called Universal Birth Registration to tackle an important issue: millions of children around the world weren’t being counted because the systems in place to register births weren’t up to par.
We didn’t know exactly how big the problem was because, as you can probably guess, the data was all over the place. If only civil registration was taken as seriously as basketball. In a way, it is, but instead of Nike and Adidas for sponsors, we’ve got governments, donors and not-for-profits. We’ve always known about the need for birth registration – we started working on programs as far back as 1998.
Every one has the right to prove who they are.
Birth registration is the proof of existence that helps a child obtain a legal identity. For so many people around the world, they can’t prove who they are; it makes them effectively invisible because they can’t prove who and how old they are. This can then make it difficult to go to school, get medical treatment, find a job, sign contracts, travel and more.
We had a lot of success with our Universal Birth Registration campaign, but eventually we came to realise that the game had changed, so in 2009 our campaign transitioned to focus globally on programme and advocacy work, while campaigning continued on a national level in various countries.