20% of births in Nicaragua are not registered in the civil registry, says the United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF). “This is an issue that concerns us”, said Ana Lucia Silva, a UNICEF special in child protection in Nicaragua.
Sival added that the phenomenon occurs mainly in rural areas, in atuonomous regions of the North and South Atlantic (RAAN and RAAS, respectively and the poorest in Nicaragua) and among indigenous populations.
she expalined that UNICEF began working of the problem in 1990, when it detectied many children wandering the streets or engaged in work in the fields were not registered.
“These children do not legally exist”, said the specialist.
Silva did not that the number of unregistered children has dropped from 35% in 2005.
The specialist, without going into minute detail, explained that the bureacracy requires parents to produce a record of birth by the hospital, birth certificate of both parents and go to the registry office, which is in the past were only in the provincial capitals and register the birth with the Consejo Supremo Electoral – elections tribunal.
A new law is due to be passed by legislators that would replace the antiquated 1904 law and make birth registration simple, rather than place obstacles.
UNICEF representative in Managua, Phillippe Barragne-Bigo, said that what is needed is about US$34 million dollars over the next five years for work that would incude the registration of minors.
Barrange-Bigo said that UNICEF has identified the 24 municipalities with the highest rate of poverty and inequity, located primarily in the country’s Caribbean coast.