Wed | Oct 17, 2018

No birth certificate for one-fifth of Jamaica's children under 12 - UNICEF

Published:Sunday | January 25, 2015 | 10:11 AM

A top United Nations Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF) official in Jamaica says more than 200,000 Jamaican children under the age of 12, or one-fifth of the age cohort, does not have a birth certificate.

Despite this, UNICEF’s acting deputy representative in Jamaica Erica Mattelone says it is commendable that the island has a high birth registration rate of 98 per cent.

Mattelone was speaking at the launch of the Registrar General Department’s (RGD) mobile unit and the reactivation of the agency’s mobile outreach team in St Thomas yesterday.

The mobile unit was acquired at a cost of approximately J$6 million through funding from UNICEF and retrofitted to allow the RGD to conduct outreach programmes in remote areas of the island.

The RGD says particular focus will be placed on the registration of children 12 years old and under, who are without a certified copy of their birth certificate.

Mattelone says she hopes the mobile unit will reach families in every nook and cranny of Jamaica, allowing thousands of children to get what she calls an official passport to protection.


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