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The Invisible Children of Ethiopia: AICS' Commitment to Guarantee the Right to Identity

Getting the Identity Card is a practice often taken for granted. Birth registration is the first step in recognizing an individual within the society, enabling access to basic services and protecting people from abuse and violence. In addition, birth registration, saving people from anonimity and invisibility, is an essential element in each Country for effective policy strategies and good governance.

However, today in Ethiopia, according to UNICEF data, only 7% of children is registered on national scale. The situation is even more serious in some regions of the Country, such as Oromia, where only 2% of children is registered.

In this context, Italy decided to intervene, through the initiative "Identification for Development", proposed and carried out by UNICEF, financed by the AICS Office of Addis Ababa and implemented by VERA SNNPR and VERA Oromia, regional bureaus responsible for Civil Registrations.

The initiative will benefit 1 million Ethiopian children, with the goal of making their lives safer and protecting their rights. Firstly, institutional technical capacities in conducting and coordinating effective registrations will be improved. Secondly, a digital system of data and information management will be set up. Finally, inter-institutional collaboration will be fostered and the monitoring of registrations will be strengthened thanks to the creation of coordination groups and through the training of the health personnel.

On August 22th, 2017, the initiative of birth registrations in Oromia Region has been launched, in the presence of Ginevra Letizia, Head of AICS Addis Ababa Office, and Gillian Mellsop, UNICEF Representative to Ethiopia.

On this occasion, Miss Letizia stated: "The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation strongly believes in the importance to contribute to children's right to identity through the improvement and standardization of the Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) system, in order to protect them from violence, abuse, exploitation and ensure their access to basic services. Children represent the future, and only by strengthening their rights, Italy will play a major role in supporting the development of Ethiopia and in turning challenges into growth and social improvement.


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