Human Rights Council Twenty-second session

Agenda item 3 Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil,

political, economic, social and cultural rights,

including the right to development

Resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council


Birth registration and the right of everyone to recognition everywhere

as a person before the law

The Human Rights Council,

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

Recalling General Assembly resolution 60/251 of 15 March 2006, in which the Assembly established the Human Rights Council,

Reaffirming the human right of everyone to be recognized everywhere as a person before the law, which is enshrined in, inter alia, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and other relevant international instruments,

Recalling the obligation of States to register all children immediately after birth, as provided for in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the International Convention on the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families and other relevant international instruments to which they are party,

Recognizing the importance of a human rights-based approach to birth registration, based on international human rights obligations and commitments operationally directed to promoting and protecting human rights,

Welcoming the continuing efforts of the Committee on the Rights of the Child towards universal birth registration, such as through recommendations widely addressed to States in this regard,

 The resolutions and decisions adopted by the Human Rights Council will be contained in the report of

the Council on its twenty-second session (A/HRC/22/2), chap. I.

Recalling the resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council calling upon States to ensure the registration of all children immediately after birth, the most recent being Assembly resolution 66/141 of 19 December 2011 and Council resolution 19/9 of 22 March 2012,

Recognizing the importance of birth registration, including late birth registration and provision of documents of proof of birth, as a means for providing an official record of the existence of a person and the recognition of that individual as a person before the law; expressing concern that unregistered individuals have limited or no access to services and enjoyment of all the rights to which they are entitled; taking into consideration that persons without birth registration are vulnerable to lack of protection; and aware that registering a person’s birth is a vital step towards the promotion and protection of all his or her human

rights, and protection from violence, exploitation and abuse,

Recognizing also the importance of birth registration, including late birth registration, for the development of vital statistics and the effective implementation of programmes and policies intended to achieve internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals,

Recognizing further the efforts made at the regional level to achieve universal birth registration, including the Conference of African Ministers responsible for Civil Registration, the Universal Civil Identity Program in the Americas, and the High-level Meeting on the Improvement of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics in Asia and the Pacific,

1. Expresses concern at the high number of persons throughout the world whose birth is not registered;

2. Reminds States of their obligation to register births without discrimination of any kind and irrespective of the status of his or her parents;

3. Calls upon States to establish or strengthen existing institutions at all levels responsible for birth registration and the preservation and security of such records, to ensure adequate training for registration officers, to allocate sufficient and adequate human, technical and financial resources to fulfil their mandate, and to increase, as needed, the number of birth registration facilities, paying attention to the local community level;

4. Also calls upon States to take all appropriate measures to permanently store and protect civil registration records and to prevent the loss or destruction of records due to emergency situations;

5. Further calls upon States to ensure free birth registration, including free or low-fee late birth registration, by means of universal, accessible, simple, expeditious and effective registration procedures, without discrimination of any kind;

6. Calls upon States to continuously raise awareness at the national, regional and local levels of birth registration, including by engagement in collaboration with all relevant actors in public campaigns that raise awareness of the importance of birth registration for effective access to services and the enjoyment of human rights;

7. Urges States to identify and remove physical, administrative, procedural and any other barriers that impede access to birth registration, including late registration, paying due attention to, among others, those barriers relating to poverty, disability, gender, nationality, displacement, illiteracy and detention contexts, and to persons in vulnerable situations;

8. Encourages States to request technical assistance, if required, from relevant United Nations bodies, agencies, funds and programmes, including the United Nations Children’s Fund, the United Nations Population Fund, the Department of Economic and

Social Affairs, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the World Health Organization, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations Development Programme, and other relevant stakeholders in order to fulfil their obligation to undertake birth registration as a means to respect the right of everyone to be recognized everywhere as a person before the law;

9. Invites the above-mentioned United Nations bodies, agencies, funds and programmes and other relevant stakeholders to cooperate with States in providing technical assistance, upon request, and calls upon them to ensure that persons with no birth registration are not discriminated against in any of their programmes;

10. Requests the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a report, in consultation with States, United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, non-governmental organizations and other relevant stakeholders, on legal, administrative, economic, physical and any other barriers to access to universal birth registration and possession of documentary proof of birth, as well as on good practices adopted by States in fulfilling their obligation to ensure birth registration, and to submit it to the Human Rights Council at its twenty-seventh session;

11. Decides to consider this issue in accordance with its annual programme of work.

47th meeting

21 March 2013

[Adopted without a vote.]