People without birth certificate
At the registry office in Tambacounda, where I work, we are faced with people who do not have birth records because they have not been not registered. Amongst them, we can find students. In addition, some couples do not register ttheir marriages at the city hall.
We can also find children whose education was interrupted during schoolyear, children that are not accounted for in social programmes, universal medical care, and in famile werlfare aid. The union of couples without a marriage certificate is not officially acknowledged by the Senegalese goverment, and the children of these couples will not be able to access the benefits of that the marriage of their parents offer. Orphans also often face problems with receiving the inheritance they are due.
People older than one will not be able to register their birth at the registry office. Instead, they have to establish a ruling of non-registration of birth which they will have to submit at the district court. For the ruling, the president of the district court must organise travelling courtrooms in order to facilitate the acquisition of a birth certificate. In addition, awareness must be raised by the elected representative so that the population knows how important it is to register births and marriages within the required time-frames. Anpther solution is to set up a secondary registry office in healthcare facilities. There is a need for a radical solution against the administrative problems, which remain a major challenge, in Senegal.
This English translation has been possible thanks to the PerMondo project: Free translation of website and documents for non-profit organisations. A project managed by Mondo Agit. Translator: John Tinneny; Proofreader: Daisy Shrimpton.
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