Malawi has launched the issuance of birth registration reports marking the start of a process that will eventually make birth registration universal and compulsory in Malawi.
At a ceremony marking the launch, Deputy Minister in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Nicholas Dausi said the issuance of birth registration reports will guarantee full protection for Malawi’s children from trafficking, child labour, child prostitution and early marriages.
“By launching this exercise, the government will guarantee full protection to the rights of children. And ensure they are protected from several challenges they encounter, such as child theft, child labour, illegal adoption, and teenage prostitution among others,” Dausi said.
He emphasized that every child has the right to a family name and a nationality.
Dausi thanked UNICEF and Plan Malawi for their technical and financial support of birth registration.
During the Bakili Muluzi administration, Malawi in 2003 launched a programme to register all children born in Malawi, allowing babies born in the country’s rural hospitals and those below the age of three to be registered.
The exercise was called Vital Birth Registration, as a move to offer children security from exploitation by relatives who grab property when their parents die.
Malawi Parliament enacted the national registration act in November 2009. The act stipulates that every child is to be registered in no more than six weeks after birth.