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Birth registration, child rights, and local governance in Bangladesh

Shonchoy, Abu S. and Wahhaj, Zaki (2023) Birth registration, child rights, and local governance in Bangladesh. In: Faguet, Jean-Paul and Pal, Sarmistha, eds. Decentralised Governance: Crafting Effective Democracies Around the World. LSE Press, London, UK. E-ISBN 978-1-909890-86-2. (doi:10.31389/lsepress.dlg.k) (KAR id:102816)


Historically, the practice of registering births with government authorities has been rare in developing countries, often limited to major urban centres. The absence of systematic birth records can be a serious impediment for implementing government policies related to children such as school enrolment requirements for children of primary school age or restrictions on minimum age of marriage. Recent initiatives to create digital birth records in a number of countries has the potential to address this issue and enhance the capacity of local government authorities to implement state policies. In Bangladesh, there has been increased provision of birth registration at local, government-run digital centres linked to a national database, and having a birth certificate has been made a requirement for receiving various government services including school enrolment and marriage registration. Using first-hand survey data on households with adolescent girls from a rural district in one of the poorest regions in Bangladesh, we document the knowledge, understanding, and behavioural response in relation to these policies at the household level. We also document the phenomenon of invalid birth certificates and provide suggestive evidence that it is due to limited local administrative capacity to register births.

Item Type: Book section
DOI/Identification number: 10.31389/lsepress.dlg.k
Uncontrolled keywords: birth registration; child rights; child marrriage; school enrolment; local governance; Bangladesh
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Women > HQ767.9 Children. Child developement
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Economics
Depositing User: Zaki Wahhaj
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2023 18:04 UTC
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2024 09:29 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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