The births of around 1 in 3 children under 5 in South Asia have never been recorded. Possession of a birth certificate is even less common — just over half of children under 5 in the region have a birth certificate. Birth registration, along with marriage and death registration, may contribute to the prevention of child trafficking and support reunification efforts when children are separated from their families in emergency situations. Moreover, civil registration helps governments monitor national population statistics and support data-driven planning and decision-making, especially when it comes to child protection policy.
This brochure provides a snapshot of civil registration in South Asia based on the latest available data. It also highlights the key challenges in recording births, deaths and marriages in the region’s eight countries.