UNICEF’s “Passport to Protection”: The Importance of Birth Registration

On Friday I participated in a Google+ Hangout with the UNICEF’s #ENDViolence Team to learn about the importance of birth registration. Thursday, December 11th marked UNICEF’s 67th year anniversary as one of the world’s leading non-profit organizations focused on the rights and protection of children. In honor of this important milestone, UNICEF released the report “Passport to Protection” which highlights the importance of birth registration in protecting children and giving them an overall basic human right. The right to exist.

Birth registration is the first step in securing a child’s rights to health, education, and freedom from things like trafficking, violence and abuse. It is a passport to protection. Yet around the world, an astounding 230 million children under the age of five – one out of every three children in this age group globally – have never been registered at birth. Tens of millions of more children are without a birth certificate.

Global Issues Global Non-Profit Organizations and Social Good Enterprises SOCIAL GOOD
The children of Indira Kalyan Camp

UNICEF India’s #ENDViolence Campaign

Over the past year, I have worked hard to build awareness and share the stories with my readers on some of the biggest social issues in the world. I have written about global health, poverty, education, safe water and sanitation, human rights, and most of all, how all of these issues have especially impacted women and girls in the developing world.

The beautiful girls at Protsahan finally getting a better future for themselves.

The beautiful girls at Protsahan finally getting a better future for themselves.

One topic that is near and dear to my heart is violence against women and girls. It is absolutely horrifying that in today’s world women and girls are being physically and sexually abused on a daily basis. Sadly, it happens everywhere. Yet violence against women and girls is even a greater problem in countries of poverty where the status of women is often so incredibly marginalized that women and girls have little or no say in the matter.

Living in the slums of India can be a dangerous place for a young girl.

Living in the slums of India can be a dangerous place for a young girl.

Traveling last May to India brought the issue of violence against women and girls to the forefront. I had just arrived after the horrendous rape and killing of a young Indian girl on a moving bus. The country was still in an uproar over the event and justice against these young men who took her life is still being sought. Today, I read the surprising news that these men have been convicted of the highest penalty possible: The death penalty and perhaps marked a change in the way law fighting these atrocities will be handled.

Yet has anything really truly changed for the millions of women around the world who are faced with violence, discrimination, harassment, intimidation, neglect and unworthiness every single day of their lives? Not much. There are laws in India against physical and sexual abuse but seldom are they enforced.

Child Labor, Marriage, Education and Survival Global Issues SOCIAL GOOD Women and Girls