Count Every Child

Donate to Count Every Child

The Count Every Child campaign gives you, our valued supporters, an opportunity to ensure that children in Thailand and Indonesia, who currently lack a birth certificate, are able to be registered and identified as a citizen of their country. That national identity will in turn rescue them from the margins of society and enable them to reach for a productive future. It will assure them of their rights to education and health services, and provide the documentation that lets them work, obtain a passport, marry, and in turn register their own children in the future.

Here’s how you can help.

Sponsor a birth certificate

Donate to Count Every Child Fund

 

Count Every Child Fund includes:

Giving Stateless Children in Thailand a Proper Identity

There are an estimated one-half to one million stateless children in Thailand, a great many of whom are located in the four northern provinces of Chiangmai, Chiangrai, Tak and Maehongson, including areas bordering Myanmar and Cambodia. With no legal protection, and coming from mostly illiterate families unaware or their basic rights, these children are particularly vulnerable to child trafficking for sex work and cheap labour, and exist in unimaginably poor conditions.

By 2016, Plan’s target is to have enabled 35,000 children living in these regions to acquire legal status and for all children to be registered at birth. The beneficiaries will be drawn from the groups most at risk, principally those who are stateless but also including hill tribes, migrants without work permits, refugees, and Malay-speaking semi-nomadic boat people.

Among the initiatives to assist in these efforts will be training in legal matters and the provision of legal clinics; strengthening the network of government and non-government organisations involved in facilitating the process of achieving legal status; and DNA testing which is used to prove the blood relationship between child and parent, to prove identity and justify the claim to Thai citizenship.

Most innovative of all is the introduction of digital technology to promote universal birth registration without requiring parents of a newborn to make a trip to a registration centre. The PoiMapper system offers field workers the ability to carry out real-time data processing and to generate reports through Google Earth. Being able to assess a person’s legal status based on the information collected from the specially devised questionnaire means that the most accurate advice can be given of what kind of legal documents need to be prepared and submitted to the state authorities.

In Indonesia, Birth Certificates and Marriage Certificates Assume Equal Importance

Plan’s initiative in six villages on Timor Island, Eastern Indonesia is to help register some 1,426 children so that they acquire the proper documentation, i.e. a birth certificate, that is the key to claiming their rights as citizens. As well as paying the fees for the registration, which may often be beyond the means of poor families, Plan also works with village elders and government civil registrars to reach isolated groups, so that no-one is left behind in the effort to confer citizenship on all.

Different countries have varying laws that govern a person’s legal status. Indonesia, to acquire a birth certificate it is necessary for parents to be officially married and to produce their legal marriage certificate in order to register a birth. Among the children that Plan wants to help are those whose parents have not married or have not obtained an official marriage certificate. Until that happens, the children’s path to obtaining their own documentation is blocked.

In parallel with the birth registration effort, therefore, Plan is also working on a community outreach programme that ensures that 1,556 adults, parents not yet officially married or who have married but not obtained the certificate, are able to either undertake a formal religious ceremony and/or to apply for the marriage certificate. In turn, this opens the door for the application of their children’s birth certificates.

Allocation of donations

Plan International will allocate donations for designated projects in accordance with the donor’s intent. However, when the designated project is fully funded, additional donations will be used where needed most for more efficient use of resources without prior notice.