Essence of vital events registration: Ethiopia established Vital Events Registration Agency

The Ethiopian Herald

Dr. Peter Salama, UNICEF Representative to Ethiopia, makes a speech at the National Conference on Vital Events Registration
Dr. Peter Salama, UNICEF Representative to Ethiopia, makes a speech at the National Conference on Vital Events Registration

Pursuant to a proclamation on the registration of vital events and national identity card (Proclamation No. 760/2004), the government has decided to establish Vital Events Registration Agency by the decision of Council of Ministers, Regulation No. 278/2005, which is accountable to the Ministry of Justice. The proclamation indicates that establishing a system of registration of vital events plays a key role in planning political, social and economic developments, in providing various social and economic services to citizens and in making the justice administration expedient and effective.

To this effect, available sources show that registration and records of vital events are intended primarily as legal documents of direct interest to the person concerned. From those official records, evidentiary proof of the occurrence of a vital event and its characteristics can be made by a civil registrar or any other designated authority. Each certificate constitutes testimony of the particulars set forth therein in all courts of law and public offices. There is a wide variety of circumstances, legal and administrative, for which a certified copy of the legal record of live birth, fetal death, death, marriage and divorce is usually required. Fetal deaths, however, are mostly recorded for statistical purposes rather than for legal purposes.

United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF) Country Representative Dr. Peter Salama said that civil registration is not just about identity cards- it is rather a pre- requisite for measuring equity monitoring trends and evaluating impact and outcomes of broader development programmes, such as the MDGs and the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP).

“While some progress has been made, there is still an enormous gap in registering vital events especially birth registration. According to the Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey of 2005, birth registration of children under the age of five was around 7 per cent, meaning that 9 out of 10 Ethiopian children remain unregistered,” said Dr. Peter.

As this crucial task is embarked on, Dr. Peter emphasized on three key points. First, birth registered is every child’s right. As stipulated in Article 7 of the Convention on the Rights of Child: “every child has the right to be registered at birth without discrimination.” Birth registration, was recognized as central to ensuring children’s right— rights to name, identity and nationality. Ethiopia was among the first countries to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). However, with no proof of age or identity, Ethiopian children and young people may be seen as attractive ‘commodities’ and subject to child trafficking across the Horn of Africa, the Middle East and the Gulf. Nor will they have even the minimal protection that a birth certificate provides against early marriage, child labour or detention and prosecution as an adult. Read more

Also read full speech by Dr. Peter Salama, UNICEF Representative to Ethiopia at the event.

Working for the voiceless

Following the expansion of means of doing business and economy across the globe, actors effectively running all sorts of activities, labour or manpower in clear terms, is badly needed to fulfill the economic needs and generate capital with high production. Obviously, not all economic systems and enterprises are capable of using advanced technology in the process of coming up with great business and productions for higher productivity. To this effect, children and teenagers enter the risk of being used as cheap labour. Most of, the majority we can say, the children are vulnerable to such unbearable challenges due to poverty, the consequences stemming from broken family, among others. Worse even, they are unaware of their rights, overworked, can’t resist and they don’t know what kind of negative repercussions can they get after all work they are told to do at workplaces.

All forms of work by children under the age laid down in International Labour Organization (ILO) standards (normally 15 years or the age of completion of compulsory schooling subject to some exceptions) are considered as child labour, basically. According to this organization, the worst forms of child labour include: slavery, debt bondage, prostitution, pornography, forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict, use of children in drug trafficking and other illicit activities, and all other work likely to be harmful or hazardous to the health, safety or morals of girls and boys under 18 years of age. Read more.

International Day of Disaster Risk Reduction 2013

By Demissew Bizuwork

International Day of Disaster Risk Reduction was marked in Ethiopia with the theme “including persons with disabilities in disaster reduction” on the 11 October 2013. Commemorating the day an event which was organized by the Disaster Risk Management and Food Security Sector (DRMFSS), the Ministry of Agriculture and partner organizations, discussed relevant policy and legal frameworks, approaches, as well as good practices related with disaster and disability.

Sylvie Chamois welcomes a visitor to the UNICEF stand at International Disaster Risk Reduction Day Ethiopia
Sylvie Chamois welcomes a visitor to the UNICEF stand at International Disaster Risk Reduction Day Ethiopia ©UNICEF Ethiopia/2013/Sewunet

As a side event was an exhibition in which UNICEF and other partners participated. UNICEF took the opportunity to showcase the role of its nutrition programme in reducing disaster risks. UNICEF promotes and protects the nutritional status of children and mothers in emergency prone country such as Ethiopia to ensure better resilience and faster recovery.

International Day of the Girl Child

By Demissew Bizuwork

dayofthegirlGirls, boys, teachers, education officials, parents and members of partner organizations all marched on the streets of Addis Ababa to celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child on Friday October 11, 2013. Accompanied by the rhythm of the Police marching band, the mass walk all the way from the Bureau of Education, to the Janmeda youth centre. The streets also came alive with colourful banners bearing messages such as “getting girls in school is yours, mine and everyone’s responsibility”  “let’s Retain girls in school” “Innovating for Girls Education”

Following the walk, officials from the Ministry of Education, UNICEF, UNESCO and other partners reviewed progress on girls’ education in Ethiopia. The panel highlighted the challenges on girls’ education and proposed suggestions for improving access, retention and achievement of girls through primary, secondary and tertiary education. Furthermore, some strategies for retaining girls in school such as peer support programmes, additional teacher support as well as linkages among girls at primary with those in secondary, among secondary with those in tertiary were shared.

Related articles
UNICEF celebrates International Day of the Girl Child

የአምስት ዓመቱ የእድገትና ትራንስፎርሜሽን እቅድ – ጤና [Five years Growth and Transformation Programme – Health]

In a recent interview with Ethiopian Television (ETV) UNICEF Ethiopia’s Health Specialist, Dr. Tedbabe Degefie said “There are 38 thousand Health extension workers in 15 thousand health posts around Ethiopia. They play a main role in achieving the countries goals by delivering service house to house and creating trust in the community.”

The programme which focused on Ethiopia’s Growth and Transformation Programme (GTP) also talks to Dr. Peter Salama – UNICEF Representative to Ethiopia, who said “Ethiopia is one of the first countries to fully incorporate and integrate the global millennium development goals (MDGs) to its Growth and Transformation Programme, putting the country in a good position to fulfill the MDGs.”

See below the health part extracted from the full five years Growth and Transformation Programme in Amharic

To see the full programme on Ethiopian Radio and Television Agency – ERTA website click here.

Story on Ethiopia meets MDG 4 by cutting Under 5 mortality By Two-Thirds Since 1990.

Simple hand-washing with soap can cut hundreds of thousands of deaths: UN

In the Central Africa Republic in 2008, a child holds out a bar of soap. UNICEF distributed soap as part of a national immunisation campaign.

From Ethiopia and Yemen to Bolivia and Viet Nam millions of children are taking part in the sixth annual United Nations-backed Global Handwashing Day, driving home the message that the simple use of soap and water can slash highly preventable diarrhoeal diseases that kill 1,400 children under five every day.

“Washing hands before eating and after defecation drastically reduces the spread of diarrhoeal disease and has far reaching effects on the health and welfare of children and communities,” UN News quoted the global head of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programmes, Sanjay Wijesekera, saying in a message marking the Day, whose theme this year is The Power Is in our Hands.

“The simple act of handwashing with soap is one of the most effective ways to save children’s lives.”

In Ethiopia, some 5 million children are participating in handwashing demonstrations and workshops around the country. In Yemen, Global Handwashing Day celebrations will take place in 3,300 schools, involving 1.4 million children. There is also a mass media campaign aimed at sensitizing the public around hand washing. Read more

Sustaining gains in health sector crucial: Ministry

The Ministry of Health has said works in the health sector have to be undertaken in an organized way to sustain the change registered therein.
Speaking on 15th annual review of the health sector development held at Mekele town, Minister of Health Dr. Keseteberhan Admasu said it has been possible to bring about a change in the health development through expansion of basic health service and training 38 thousand health extension workers.

He said Ethiopia has become one of the seven countries that have already achieved the Millennium Development Goal in reducing child mortality. Read more