KATHMANDU, August 5: A senior government official has revealed that the number of children whose births are legally recorded with government bodies within 35 days of their births, as required by the existing law, is just six percent in Nepal.
According to the government official, the birth of some 77 percent of children is officially recorded between 35 days to five years of their births.
Addressing a program organized by Nepal’s People’s Forum in the capital on the Sustainable Development Goals on Friday, Under Secretary Binita Bhattarai at the Ministry of Home Affairs said birth registration is mandatory to obtain a personal identity officially. Birth registration is the right of every child, ensured by Article 39 of the Constitution. It states “every child shall have the right to name and birth registration along with his or her identity' under the Right of the Child.”
Birth registration within 35 days of the birth is free but it is chargeable thereafter. This applies to other personal events such as death, marriage etc as well.
At the program, the home ministry officials also said that citizenship certificates, passports and national identity cards are official documents for personal identity at present but the National ID Card will be sufficient to identify a person once it is fully implemented.
During the program, Rup Narayan Yadav from Bara said the local governments in the district charge Rs 700 for each event of birth registration while the National Planning Commission's member Saloni Pradhan Singh complained that she has not been able to get her National ID Card even as it has already been three months since she placed an online request for it.
Vice Chairperson of the Federation of Sexual and Gender Minorities, Nepal, Bhumika Shrestha said although Article 12 of the Constitution guarantees citizenship on the basis of gender recognition, its de facto practice is still awaited.
Legal practitioner Ram Prasad Gautam insisted cooperation among the bodies concerned to establish the legal identities of all citizens by 2030 as per the Sustainable Development Goals.
Dhanusha's Indrajeet Sudi said people like him who are fighting against their statelessness and for State recognition are not sure when their fight will be over.
The event supported by three dozen community organizations including Forum of Women, Law and Development, Freedom Forum, Samudayik Sarathi and other organizations working for civil rights kicked off in the federal capital city on Thursday.