The Government of Liberia (GoL) over the weekend launched the Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) for every citizen to obtain birth, death and marriage certificates.
CRVS is the process government uses to record vital events as required by law. The goal is to have accurate data from all vital events in a country.
The process was launched at the Ministry of Information under the theme, “Promoting Innovative Civil Registration and Vital Statistics for Good Governance and Better Lives.”
Prince K. Momolu, Director-Bureau of Vital Statistics, Ministry of Health, in a presentation providing an overview of Birth Regulation (BR), said CRVS creates a permanent record of each vital event such as birth, marriage, divorce and death. He added that it also generates personal legal documents required by people as proof of facts.
Mr. Momolu said the government is trying to establish BR centers in public health facilities, to ensure a child is registered immediately after birth, which will also help government develop accurate statistics on every child that is born.
He said that the government is set to establish an online BR system, improve BR publicity and decentralize the process at a local level.
Mr. Momolu said BR provides reliable and accurate sources of information, improves national data banks and statistics and facilitates planning and development for both individual and State.
Neileh Daitouah, Director General of the Center for National Documents and Records Agency, said marriages and divorce certificates are important instruments to CRVS for good governance and better lives.
Daitouah said with the high level of importance attached to marriage and divorce documents, they need to be treated carefully, respectfully and with dignity.
He said good record keeping helps to promote transparency, accountability and good governance while poor record keeping promotes corruption, bad governance and deprives access to information and education.
The UN first acknowledged birth registration as a human right in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1966, the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) ensured that birth registration became a legally binding obligation for states
In 1989, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), one of the most widely ratified conventions, Article 7 states: “The child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and, as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents.”