Addis Ababa October 27, 2017 Ethiopia has started Refugee Vital Events Registration today.
The vital events registration conducted for refugees follows Ethiopia’s voluntary commitment at the 2016 leader’s summit on refugees in New York.
Administration for Refugees and Returnees Affairs Deputy Director Zeynu Jemal said most refugees arrive in Ethiopia without relevant civil registration documents due to ongoing conflicts and disruption of state infrastructures in their countries of origin.
Due to this, refugees are unable from accessing services on civil registration during their stay in Ethiopia, he added.
He noted that the Ethiopian government has recently amended “the Registration of Vital Events and National Identity Card Proclamation” to help refugees access services in relation to civil registration.
The registration will alleviate the risks related to protection of refugees that have been facing problems due to lack of civil registration.
Zeynu stressed that all refugees are guaranteed equal access to vital events registration, regardless of their nationality and status, through which they are able to get certificates free of charge.
Federal Vital Events Registration Agency Deputy Director, Tamiru Genbeto said Ethiopia launched vital events registration that will be conducted at refugee camps, zones and regional capital cities.
The vital events registration has tremendous importance for both the host country and the individuals, he added.
Tamriu urged all partners and responsible bodies to work in collaboration with the Federal Vital Events Agency to build a reliable system.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Ethiopia, Clementine Salami said civil registration provides legal rights for individuals.
“This is a groundbreaking development for refugee protection by the government of Ethiopia, not previously realized over decades”, she noted.
She stated that more than 70,000 refugee children born in Ethiopia over the last decade have not had their births registered.
”I encourage all refugees to apply for their civil registration including birth certificates”, Salami said.
South Sudanese refugee John Yohannes, representing refugees in Addis Ababa on the occasion said the challenges of being refugee is immense.
Today’s event is vital especially for small children to attend their education, he added.
Resident ambassadors of Denmark and the Netherlands as well as UNHCR high officials in Ethiopia attended the registering of the first batch refugees in Addis Ababa.
Ethiopia hosts more than 852,000 refugees in 26 refugee camps.