Meet the children assisted by Plan International
14 year-old A is a stateless girl who lives in Chiang Rai Province in northern Thailand. She doesn’t like to work out in the cornfields in the summer since it is very warm. However, she knows that if she doesn’t help her father her family won’t have enough money to be able to send her to school, which she loves so much. Her family struggles financially because they are stateless; they migrated from Myanmar to Chiang Rai Province seeking a better future.
Plan Thailand launched a programme in 2010 which focuses on setting up legal clinics to teach children about their rights, which includes the right to identity. This would allow A and her little brother to acquire nationality and be able to go to school, so in the future she can have a job she wants and won’t have to work in the fields in the warm summer anymore.
L is a young girl from the Salang ethnic group living in Chiang Mai. She has five brothers and sisters, one of whom is her twin sister, S. They are currently Plan sponsored children. L and her family members all received their identity documents with the help of Plan’s DNA testing programmes. She said:
"There were so many times I missed the chance to apply for an education scholarship because I couldn't prove that I was a Thai citizen. I was born in Thailand. I speak Thai. I am a student in a Thai school. It was difficult to be seen as an alien in my own country. With my official identity card, I can continue studying and apply for a scholarship," says L.
Five-year-old twins M and N were born in a rural community in Ghana's Upper Manya Krobo district, where 149 children now have identity documents and were able to acquire nationality thanks to an event organised by Plan International to register their births.
"We know that when our wives give birth in Asesewa they must be registered there, but we didn't take it seriously…Today if my child goes anywhere she can show her certificate and I am very happy about that," says a 38 year old father who registered the birth of his daughter. "I am happy that today my child has a birth certificate because if he is going to look for job like a police officer or military person he will have access to better employment opportunities because he will have a birth certificate like other children," says G, a 36 year old mother.
Plan International, Count Every Child. Available at http://www.planbelgie.be/sites/default/files/user_uploads/count_every_child_-_the_right_to_birth_registration_plan_international_-_engelstalig.pdf
Strengthening policies and programmes for universal birth registration and vital statistics development Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G16/141/46/PDF/G1614146.pdf?OpenElement
Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on birth registration and the right of everyone to recognition everywhere as a person before the law:http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Children/BirthRegistration/Pages/ReportOnBirthRegistration.aspx