Free registration for children

2nd Birth Registration Day Observed
Free registration for children until Dec 31
The government will extend the timeline for free birth registration for the children under 18 years of age to December 31 and set a fixed fee for registration of adults at Tk 50.
It will make a few corrections to some provisions of the Birth and Death Registration Act 2004 in order to bring the changes. The timeline for free birth registration ended on July 2.
LGRD and Cooperatives Adviser Mohammad Anwarul Iqbal said this yesterday at a ceremony for the observance of 2nd Birth Registration Day at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the city.
Anwarul Iqbal said, “As some calls came for extending the timeline for free birth registration for all, the government will extend the timeline only for the children below 18 years and for adults the fee will be at a fixed rate of Tk 50.”
“The government will not change the law to extend the timeline, but will make a few corrections to some provisions of the Birth and Death Registration Act 2004 to make the changes,” said the adviser, adding that the government is going to create a database of information of birth registration and a software was developed as Birth Registration Information System (BRIS) that had already started working in the city corporation areas. People will be able to see the information in a website after a few days.
“A birth certificate serves as a legal age verification document, acknowledging the individual's existence and status before the law, thus realising every person's right to an identity. This birth registration certificate will enhance our vigilance to stop child trafficking, child marriage and abuse to them,” the adviser added.
The Birth Registration Day has been observed at the national level to create awareness among the people to fulfil the government's task of 100 percent birth registration within December 2008.
According to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), only one out of 10 children under 5 had been registered in 2006. A Recent report from the Local Government Division shows that 40 percent of the total population had received a birth certificate by the end of March 2008. The government's objective is to lift this figure substantially with the support from development partners such as Unicef and Plan Bangladesh.
According to the Act, birth certificates will be compulsory to obtain access to 16 essential services, including issuance of passports, marriage registration and admission to educational institutions.
Unicef Representative in Bangladesh David Bassiouni said, “This year Unicef is particularly focusing on vulnerable children such as children living on the streets, working children, children of sex workers, indigenous children and refugee and displaced children as they are more likely to be missed out. The absence of a birth certificate puts them at greater risk of discrimination, abuse and neglect” he added.
Presided over by Local Government Division Secretary Sheikh Khurshid Alam, the Birth Registration Day observance programme was attended by Plan Bangladesh Representative Saiful Islam, Joint Secretary and Project Director of the Birth and Death Registration Project AKM Saiful Islam Chowdhury and Dhaka City Corporation Chief Executive Officer Mohammad Alauddin.
Around 60 per cent people of the country, who failed to get their birth registered by July 2, will have to pay fines and fees for the registration purpose from Wednesday.
AKM Saiful Islam Chowdhury said this at a view exchange meeting with journalists at a city hotel on Wednesday, adding that a total of 5.87 crore (around 40 percent) people of the country till March 31 came under the birth registration project which is unsatisfactory.
The Birth and Death Registration Act 2004 entered into force in 2006, providing birth registration for the people born in Bangladesh and allowing them for free registration until July 2 this year.