Day of the African Child activities in ESAR
On 16 June, UNCIEF Mozambique will start a campaign on birth registration in a peri-urban area of Maputo. The campaign will involves an announcement by the Mayor of Maputo removing the birth registration fee of two dollars for the remainder of 2003. Currently, if parents don’t register their newborn children within 30 day of birth, they are penalized $2.00. According to the 1997 national census Mozambique has a population of about 17 million people. The birth rate is 4.5% per annum i.e.765 000 babies are born annually. From 2000 to 2002 the birth registration had been on average 200 000 per annum (145 165 people registered in 2000, 223 336 in 2001 and 243 882 in 2002). According to DNRN DNRN - Direcção Nacional de Registo Civil e Notariado between 80 to 70 percent of those registered are children. Birth registration is also attached to entry into school therefore most of the children who seek birth registration are not the newly born babies but those in school-going age. Official statistics on those who are not registered are not available and it is difficult to estimate how many people do not have birth certificates and other identity documents in Mozambique.
Birth registration is centralised despite the fact that very few people have access to it. On the other hand it is based on an outdated colonial law which had different purpose and objectives for birth registration. The procedures and process for the birth registration does not take economic and cultural aspects into consideration. For example it is required for a newly born child be registered within thirty days after birth, yet birth registration offices are
inaccessible due to distance and where there are nearby they may not have the birth certificates and the black pens or registry books. Birth registration after thirty days of birth is subject to a penalty fee of 50 000 meticais (slightly over US$2), an amount which most of the people cannot afford.
UNICEF identified the following possible barriers to birth registration - in addition to the traditional component mentioned at the beginning:
? Shortage of trained personnel and modern technology
? Logistic problems of lack of black pens, birth certificates and birth registry books ? Use of rigid procedures that creates inertia to birth registration
? Lack of knowledge by the communities as regard to the short-term and long-term benefits
of birth registration ? Long distances to registration offices
? The administrative penalty fee is not only beyond the reach of most vulnerable
communities but make birth registration a problem for many people
? Centralisation of the process despite lack of logistic and human resources experienced by
? Lack of political will leading to lack of effective enforcement of the birth registration
laws and/or amendment or repeal thereof ? Lack of co-ordination, multi-sectoral approach and co-operation between
different line ministries and other sectors involved in birth registration
Birth registration despite being the centre for effective national planning is not a national
We are now working on BR in 20 out of 56 districts. Here the government is showing more and more commitment and this is very encouraging.
Malawi is in the process of launching a campaign on vital registration statistics. Already a
meeting of all partners has been held to work out modalities for this. We also plan a
comprehensive communication support to generate a movement for the campaign. Some of the
potential activities include:
- launching of birth registration at the district level
- media dialogue to mobilize the support of the media
- radio campaign to promote birth registration
- youth outreach on advantages of birth registration
- production of promotional materials
- a brochure has been developed on birth registration, including the recommendation of the CRC Committee on expectations from the Malawi Government
DAC activities in Zimababwe are being organised through our Child Protection section in
partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Child Protection Society.
DAC activities will take place in 7 provinces throughout the country.
Mashonaland East Province, Mashonaland West Province, Mashonaland Central Province,
Midlands Province, Masvingo Province, Matebeleland North Province, Matebeleland South
The activities in these provinces are that with UNICEF funds, children will commemorate the
DAC by performing songs, arts, drama and poetry on their rights to protection in general,
protection from abuse and their right to birth registration.
With UNICEF support, the Child Protection Society is organising street theatre in Harare, and a
workshop to discuss Birth Registration and Child Abuse on the 16th with policy makers, the UN
and NGO representatives.
? On 16 June, the Day of the African Child, President Levy Mwanawasa will launch a national
birth registration drive to provide at least one million children with a birth certificate in the
next one year. Unlike previous years where the day was normally celebrated by an event at
State House, this year it will be held in Choma, a rural town 284 km from Lusaka and 188 km
from Livingstone (the Victoria Falls). This will be preceded on 14-15 June by a Children's
Summit. Fifty children from all 9 provinces of Zambia will discuss birth registration and the
contributions they would like to make to the constitutional review discussions. ? A new birth certificate has been designed with the image of Victoria Falls in Livingstone as a
watermark. This is awaiting official approval but there is already a strong signal that this will
be given. Once approved this certificate will be launched on 16 June with the President
presenting 20 underprivileged or orphaned children with their birth certificates. UNICEF
plans to print an initial 100,000 blank certificates, which will be handed over to the
Government on this day. Printing cost per certificate will be $0.06.
? 100,000 copies of an A5 booklet on "Why you need a birth certficate and how to obtain one"
will be printed. Printing cost per booklet is $0.12. An A2 poster with the cover photo of the
booklet is being developed.
? 100,000 copies of the birth registration forms "Notice of Birth" will also be printed for
distribution along with the new birth certificate to the 9 provinces. A decision has been taken
to decentralize the issuance of birth certificates to provincial level to facilitate reaching the
target of 1 million children in the next one year.
? Almost 80 Child Rights Clubs, which have already been established, will be used as entry
points for mobilization. After the celebration of the Day of the African Child, the clubs will
continue to mobilize their schools and community on birth registration. The booklet on birth
registration (mentioned above) will also be used for mobilization.
? A working group under the auspices of the Department of Child Affairs (Ministry of Sports,
Youth & Child Development) has been established with membership from the office of the
Registrar-General, responsible for birth registration (Ministry of Home Affairs), Ministry of
Community Development and Social Services, Plan Zambia, Care Zambia, and UNICEF.
There is also growing interest from the private sector, namely Celtel, a cellphone provider in
? Lastly, a media plan has also been developed by a sub-group on Media and Advocacy (which
also includes UNICEF).
? UNICEF Swaziland will be holding a press conference with national journalists to create
public awareness about the Day of the African Child. Other plans include, the placement of a
feature article on the importance of DAC. We'll also use the press briefing opportunity to
announce the major event on Saturday, 21 June. We have also arranged with the local
television station to run the PSA by Angelique Kidjo on girls education ? The Association of Christian Artists of Swaziland (ACASWA ) in collaboration with
UNICEF and multisectoral DAC Organising Committee, will celebrate the Day of the stAfrican Child which on Saturday 21 June 2003 at the Bosco Skills Centre in Manzini
beginning at 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.. This year, Swaziland’s theme is centered on three calls
of the rallying call of the Global Movement for Children, namely “ Fight HIV and AIDS”,
“Stop Abuse of Children” and “Leave No Child Out” the themes of UNICEF Swaziland’s
cooperation with religious organisations in the country. “Leave No Child Out” was identified
and added as a new theme by the Swaziland Religious Organisations’ Advisory Board for
2003, building on the focus of the country’s first ever children’s choir competitions.
? The highlight of the day’s celebrations will be a Gospel music Extravaganza including
performances by children from the winners of the 2002 regional competitions as well as the
most popular gospel groups affiliated to ACASWA. The Day’s programme will include
storytelling, poetry and other activities on the themes of “Leave No Child Out” in which
UNICEF will advocate that the national PIN registration should be extended to children ? The celebration of the 2003 DAC becomes the introduction to this year’s children’s gospel
competitions, concluding with the regional and national competitions to be held in later this
year. The “Children’s Voices” is one of the key activities in the 2003-2004 “Leave No Child
Out” campaign to have brought at least 10 000 orphans and vulnerable children into church
life-skills and psycho-social support activities who otherwise would not have had such
opportunities. It aims to engage at least 400 grassroots-level congregations, starting with
those congregations that participated in the 2002 children’s choir competitions, in reaching
out to at least 2 000 child-headed households. This year, ACASWA seeks to increase
participation in the children’s choir competitions by at least 50%.
UNICEF is a member of the National Steering Committee for the Day of the African Child. The
Committee is chaired by the Children's Department and has a membership of about 20 NGOs.
This year, the Department of Civil Registration joined the Committee because of the birth
registration theme. In the week prior to Day of the African Child various activities have been
planned that will include ? 7th June - An NGO - 'Dagoretti 4 Kids'- holds an informal march and rally to protest child
labour and substance abuse. The local civil registrar will talk about birth registration.
? 9th June - Week- long activities to mark the day will be launched by the Asst. Minister,
Home Affairs, in Maraktwet District at a rally focusing on birth registration. Marakwet
District has one of the lowest birth registration rates.
? From 10th June training of birth registration agents and social mobilization for the
community-based system of civil registration at the locational level will begin in Marakwet
and Keiyo districts. These activities are supported by UNICEF KCO as part of the vital
? Between 10th and 11th June - Children's Department Launches the Guidelines on the care
of orphans and other children made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS. The guidelines were developed
by the Government in collaboration with NGO partners, the National Aids Control
Programme and UNICEF.
? 11th June - ANPPCAN holds a public baraza (rally) in the Kibera slums to talk about child
? 12 - 15 th June - The Girl Child Network and Plan Kenya will hold workshops for children
on child rights in all the Districts where Plan has projects.
? 12 - 13th June - 'The Chambers of Justice', a human rights foundation holds an exhibition at
the Kenyatta International Conference Centre on 'Investing in Children'. The significance of
birth registration for investment in children will be highlighted. The exhibition will kick off
the petitioning process for the 'Cancel-Debts- for-the-Child' campaign. The campaign is
spearheaded by the Chambers and has the support of 20 NGOs and several Government
Departments. UNICEF is one of the supporters of the campaign, which was launched on
April 6, 2003 by the Minister for Home Affairs.
? 14th June - A pleasure/educational train ride for children to Naivasha organized by the
NGO- Juhudi Children club.
? 16th June - Public Rally in Nairobi on birth registration. Proposed venue - Starehe Boys
Centre. The Minister for Home Affairs, Hon. Moody Awori, will officiate. The UNICEF
Kenya Representative will speak at the rally. A supplement on birth registration will be
placed in one of the country’’s leaading dailies. This will be sponsored by JICA (Japan
International Co-operation Agency)
UNICEF Angola is working close with the National Institute for Children (INAC) to mark the 16
of June 2003, in a time where peace is effectively part of the people's daily life.
? On 6th of June UNICEF convened their monthly media gathering - 'Cafe de Ideias' (Coffee
of Ideas) with 25 participants from local and international media and five children, including
young radio/TV producers of children programmes and the two children parliamentarians
who participated in the World Water Forum in Kyoto. The right of children to participation
and the right to birth registration were in the core of this gathering. The participants were
guided through the 2003 UNICEF SOWCR part which details the right of participation,
social levels of participation and the myths and realities about it. The representative of the
Government body of Civil Registration talked about the status of birth registration in Angola.
UNICEF distributed the ESAR fact sheet on Birth Registration translated into Portuguese.
This acted as a preparation for the great event to take place on the 16 of June. A specific press
release mixing the facts in the region and the particular situation in Angola is in preparation
to be launched on the eve of DAC. Also, the media planned in the Cafe de Ideias to increase
the coverage of Birth Registration activities to sensitize the parents on the importance of
guaranteeing to their children this essential right at birth.
? The main event for the 16 of June in Angola will be the inauguration of the Juvenile Court
(Julgado de Menores by the Prime-Minister. UNICEF will open in Luanda an exhibition of
the results of a drawing and songs contest organized in 20 schools of two municipalities of
the Northern province of Malanje, giving a total of 40 schools. These are schools involved in
the 'Back to School' initiative. The two children winners will win a travel to Luanda to
present the best selected works of their colleagues. they will be participating in: ? the major TV talk show called Janela Aberta (Open Window) with another children. This
particluar show will have only children participating.
? 3. UNICEF will be producing a human interest story with the two kids and the contest.
To stimulate interest and educate a broad audience on the importance of birth registration in
Ethiopia, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MOLSA) hosted a workshop for media from
the 3-4 June. Twenty journalists from Addis Ababa, ten from the regions and the day of the
African Child preparatory committee members participated. The workshop sessions included; an
overview of birth registration and how it relates to the CRC and the African Charter on the Rights
and Welfare of the Child; the status of birth registration in Ethiopia; the legal context; and the
role of mass media on promoting birth registration. A plan of action is now being finalized.
16 June 2003
Day of the African Child will begin with children marching through the streets of Addis Ababa.
First they will stop at the parliament, where they will share their messages on their right to birth registration to the Speaker of the House. The second stop will be the Economic Commission of
Africa, where they will present their concerns on the situation of children to a representative from the African Union, the Head of the UN country Team, Sam Nymabi and the UNICEF
Representative, Bjorn Ljungqvist. Children will wear T-shirts with the special birth registration
logo of the day and themselves will prepare their messages.
In the afternoon a panel discussion which will be open to the public will be held at the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs on the issue of birth registration in Ethiopia. Additional print
information, including flyers, posters and a press release will be shared broadly to the media and
the public at large.
UNICEF Uganda has so far garnered high participation from Government and allies like, Save
the Children UK and Plan International. Two Govt. ministries are actively involved, that is: the
National Council for Children under Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and
Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs. UNICEF has supported both national level and
district specific/ level celebrations.
In Namibia the day will be celebrated in various parts of the country with learners taking a key
role in the celebrations. In Windhoek the celebrations will be attended by about 6 000 learners.
Khin-Sandi Lwin, UNICEF Representative, will make a statement at the event focusing on the
importance of birth registration, especially for the increasing number of orphans. The Deputy
Minister of Women Affairs and Child Welfare will speak on behalf of the Government, while the
Junior Mayor of Windhoek will speak on behalf of the children.
As part of the Day of the African Child various civil society organisations in Windhoek have also
organised a march, focusing on the need to protect children's rights in the country. Panel
discussions on national television, focusing on birth registration and children's rights in general,
have been arranged; and posters on birth registration are being printed to be distributed country-
wide. The day's events will be widely covered in national media.
Partners: Ministry of Local Government, Information and Social Affairs (MINALOC),
Bamporeze, Assoferwa and ADPA (local NGOs), International Rescue
Committee (IRC) and UNICEF.
? From 30 May 03 to 01 June 03: Birth registration in Rwanda: What is it? How is it done?
Where are we? Any obstacles? Proposal to address the issue. Data collected through
interview with local authorities, parents and children in Gitarama and Gikongoro Provinces. ? 31May 03: Translation of the African Charter on CR and submission to the Communication
Officer for proof-reading.
? 02 June 03: The charter document processed for printing and production of 3000 copies in
mother tongue for distribution
? 03 June 03:
8:30 am: Interview with the Minister of State in Minaloc by National
Television and the chargé de Presse in Minaloc to feed complete data for the
documentary and radio broadcast. UNICEF should be ready for an interview on
the same day at a different hour.
10:00 am: Meeting of the technical team to produce a leaflet with messages. ? 05 June 03: first radio broadcast. It is important to note that two airtime opportunities are
available, on Monday and Thursday. We shall use these to inform the public. This can be
booked even further whenever we have child right issues to bring attention to. TV broadcast thon Birth registration on Saturday 07/06/03 and Wednesday 11.
? 10 minutes radio broadcast on the theme just after the Morning, Mid day and Evening
News in Kinyarwanda “ Ibivugwa iwacu” i.e “On the news at Home ”. Content: information
from field visit; data from Districts on Birth Registration, statements of the Minister of State
in charge of Social Affairs and the person in charge of “Etat Civil” in Kacyiru district.
? 10-13 June 03: Three teams tour Provinces to meet provincial, district and religious leaders
with other influential people such as school directors and inspectors.
Objective: to exchange with these duty bearers on how best the population can
understand the message on the importance of birth registration and involve them in any
activity to facilitate birth registration
? Venue for the National Celebration: Kibuye, District of Rutsiro
Note: Districts countrywide and NGOs are encouraged to actively participate to the success of the
DAC and the monitoring of activities related to Birth Registration and fulfilment of Child rights th June 03. beyond the 16
Commemoration of the Day of African Child in Tanzania is a national event, which is
commemorated in urban and rural areas all over the country. This year’s theme, selected by the
Ministry for Community Development Women Affairs and Children, is “Quality Care in Early
Childhood is the foundation for Life”, Many child focused activities accompany DAC commemoration, this year the main activities
organized to mark the day are.
??Children Baraza: UNICEF is supporting organization of Children Barazas in 18 Districts and
a National Baraza which will pull 10 children from 10 Regions including refugee children
from the camps in western Tanzania. NGO’s such as Plan International, World Visions and
others are also supporting Children Barazas in their respective geographical areas.
Increasingly Children Baraza is becoming a core feature during DAC commemoration in
Tanzania. It is now the main forum where children and young people are engage in serious
discussion about issues affecting their lives, and deliberate on possible actions.
??Vitamin A supplementation is another core activity during the Day of African Child
commemoration. The activity is scheduled to take place a week early and June 16 is used to
present the coverage and way forward. ??Children procession, Songs, Dances, Acrobat, Football, Music Competition, and Discos,
Radio Talk Shows and TV Programmes and many more are also part of country wide
activities organized by different organizations to mark the Day of African Child.
??At the national level, the Day of the African Child will be commemorated at the outskirts
ofDar-es-Salaam, a place called Boko. It will be high level event with live TV and Radio
coverage. Ambassador Salim A. Salim former OAU Secretary General for 12 years –
currently a Chairperson of Mwalimu Nyerere Foundationwill be the guest of honour.
UNICEF Representative will also attend the event and is one of the distinguished guests to
address the public.