Over ten thousand children sans birth certificates

[TamilNet, Friday, 29 June 2001, 18:19 GMT]
"Over ten thousand children, the majority of them living in areas held by the Liberation Tigers in the Trincomalee district, do not have birth certificates", said Mr.S.M.K.B Nandaratna, Senior Programme Officer of the Save the Children Fund speaking at a conference held Friday at Trincomalee District Secretariat. "The badly affected children live in the two most remote villages in the Mutur area, Cheenanveli and Uppooral. They find it very difficult to continue their studies and to partake in sports meets without their birth certificates," he said.

He said; "The Save the Children Fund is now taking much interest in helping these children to ensure and safeguard one of their rights enshrined in Article 07 of the Children Rights Charter of the United Nations- the right to identify them."

The Save the Children Fund organized this conference to step up awareness among local government officials about the necessity of helping children in rural areas to obtain birth certificates. Mr. S.D.Chandradasa, Government Agent and the District Secretary presided.

It was brought to the notice of the conference that "parents live in areas controlled by the Liberation Tigers are finding difficult to come to areas controlled by government troops to obtain birth certificates for their children as they do not possess national identity cards."

"Persons over eighteen years of age should submit their birth certificates to obtain national identity cards. But several Tamil people in areas controlled by the Liberation Tigers do not possess national identity cards, as their births are not registered with civil authorities in their villages due to unsettled conditions. In some instances even elders have lost their birth certificates due to frequent displacement and destruction of their dwellings in violence", a social worker in Muttur area said.

 

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