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The CRC requires that Member States respect children’s right to a name, a nationality and family ties (Article 7 and 8). Birth registration is crucial for safeguarding many of the child’s rights. If a child is not registered at birth, their access to health services, education, marriage registration and voting, for example, could be restricted. The absence of simple procedures and terms for children to register their birth through judicial or – preferably – administrative procedures in case their parents fail to do so may put all of their rights at risk.
In all EU Member States, parents or medical professionals are responsible for registering new-borns. When parents and medical professionals fail to comply with this obligation, a few countries have enacted specific procedures that allow children to complete their own registration, in some cases regardless of their age. Other Member States regulate the possibility of late registration by other interested parties (relatives, medical personnel, social workers, etc.) through judicial procedures.