PRESS STATEMENT | LHR Launches Universal Birth Registration Drive

Date: 05/03/2021

Universal birth registration is impossible to ignore and entirely possible to achieve.” – Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, 2009

Universal birth registration is the key to ending childhood statelessness. Birth registration is also a gateway to all other fundamental children’s rights. Without it,  the rights to citizenship, healthcare, education, social assistance, and protection are often entirely out of reach.

Although South Africa’s birth registration rate is comparatively higher than other countries in the region, it still falls short of the standard of universal birth registration.[1] South Africa’s birth registration rate has remained stagnant for nearly a decade, leaving thousands of children unregistered.[2] This has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and associated barriers to access civil registration processes.

In the last five years alone, LHR has received over 2000 requests for help related to birth registration.

Today, we are launching an advocacy and funding drive to make sure that all children in South Africa can access their right to registration.

From March 8-12, we’re calling on you to donate to LHR’s Global Giving birth registration campaign! All week, when you donate up to R750 through our Global Giving platform, @GlobalGiving will match your generosity by 50%. This money will go directly to supporting the legal work required to ensure access to birth registration for LHR’s clients.

Every little bit makes a difference. Donate here!

Follow our social media for updates and information in the coming weeks. We will be posting information about birth registration in South Africa and hosting facebook live events to answer your questions related to how to register your child or access birth registration yourself.

 #littlebylittecampaign #Right2Registration #Right2Rights

 For more information please contact: Thandeka Chauke at or Robin Lenahan at


[1] United Nations Children’s Fund, A Statistical Profile of Birth Registration in Africa, UNICEF, New York, 2020 (Available at: ).

[2] Statistics South Africa, Statistical release P0305, Recorded Live Births (2018 report): 2007 – 2011 = 89,2%; 2011 – 2016 = 88,6%, 2017 – 2018 = 89,2%. (Available at: ).

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