APRESENTATIONTo the Workshop on the Improvement of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics in SADC Region Department of National Registration, Passport & Citizenship Ministry of Home Affairs ZAMBIA
Background The birth and Deaths Registration Act Chapter 51 of the Laws of Zambia came into effect on 14 march, 1973, its an Act that provides a uniform law for registration of all births and deaths in Zambia without distinction of origin or descent. Its registration is decentralized to all districts in the country. • However, issuance of Birth and Death Certificates remains centralized to the office of the Registrar General in Lusaka due to certain security reasons although plans are under way to equally decentralize the operation. • Prior to this, there was no provision for registration of African births except for white, Coloured and Asian races. All person born after 14 march 1973 are required to obtain birth certificates.
Sources of Data • Health institutions issue birth records and medical cause of deaths for the purpose of registration of the vital events. • The police also issue BID reports used for the same purpose. • The headmen/chiefs also write confirmation of death letters. • Baptismal certificates are also relied upon as evidence of birth (determining age and sex)
COVERAGE • Birth and Death registration is not adequately covered especially in villages and rural areas where there is no formal system of registration. • People seem not to under stand the value of obtaining birth and death certificates due to lack of sensitization.
DATA ANALYSIS FOR NATIONAL PLANNING • The department uses the data for administrative purposes only. • The analysis of data in terms of national planning is done by Central Statistics Office (CSO).CSO is mandated to collect data on vital registration from the department for analysis purposes. • CSO is expected to collect the raw data and process it into meaningful information
CHALLENGES • Data captured by the department on vital registration is still on hard copies only in form of Birth , Marriage and Death registers. The registers date back to 1908. there is urgent need to computerize the records and store on disks and other storage devises. • People in the rural areas are unaware of the importance of registering vital events. There is need for sensitization and awareness campaigns.
OPPORTUNITIES • The department conducted a survey on the current birth registration system. The survey is aimed at addressing the gaps in birth registration (resulting to the low turn out) and also make recommendations thereof. • The department has improved on the birth certificate in terms of security features and other vital additional information. • The department is on plan to decentralize the issuance of birth and death certificates to provincial and district levels. • The department will, in the new structure, also aim to create sub-centres for registration of vital events in the village. The traditional leaders will have to be brought on board for the department to achieve its objectives
Registration for a birth certificate? A birth certificate is an important document which shows what your names are, where you were born, when you were born and who your parents are. It is the first legal acknowledgement of a child’s existence
Why do you need one? This certificate is required to: - Enroll a child in school at the right age. - Obtain your national registration card or passport - Enter college or university - Apply for a job
How to register the birth of a child? Birth registration is the official recording of the birth of the child by an administrative process of the state and is coordinated by a particular branch of the government. It is a permanent and official record of a child’s existence in a particular country.
Step 1 • Parents or guardians are required to complete “Notice of Birth” Reg – Gen Form No. 14 at the National Registration office in their respective Districts.
Step 2 • If the child was born at the hospital or Clinic (either government or private) a record of Birth or Under-Five Children’s card is attached to the notice of Birth.
Step 3 • The two documents are then submitted to the Registrar of Birth at the Local Authority in the District where the child was born.
Step 4 • The Registrar enters the birth in the Registrar and assigns the form s serial number as a means of reference.
Step 5 • The forms are endorsed with the Registrars signature and official stamp.
Step 6 • The Registrar forwards these documents to the Registrar at the office of the Registrar General for issuance of a birth certificate, since it is a centralized system.
Children born at home either in rural or urban areas If a child is born at home, either in rural or urban areas, an Under-Five Children’s Clinic Card can be obtained at the nearest health centre within one month of the child’s birth. The same stated birth registration procedure can be followed. In the absence of the birth record or Under-Five Children’s Clinic Card an Affidavit Form M can be used.
Late Registration • If the birth is registered after 12 months, an Affidavit Reg – Form 12 needs to be completed for late registration. There is a provision on the form for applicants to give reasons why the birth was not registered within the stipulated period.
Registration of marriages • Zambian marriages are celebrated in two categories namely: • Statute marriages solemnised by the Registrar General. Councils and churches are agents in the solemnisation of statute marriages. A 21 days’ notice has to be given before a marriage is solemnised
Registration of marriages cont • Customary marriages are solemnised by the local courts. There is no notice given for the solemnisation of the marriage. • In times of divorce, the high court hears marriages under the statute while the local court hears the dissolution of customary marriages.
Registration of death • Deaths have to be reported within 24 hours of their occurrences. The informants full names and address have to be submitted. Other details required are: • medical cause of death • Identity card of the deceased person • Burial permit • Occupation, age and sex
Registration of death cont • For deaths occurring outside the hospital, a police report or letter from the chief/headman has to be attached. • As stated earlier, the issuance of these certificates is centralised while the procession is done from all the 72 districts of the country