Birth Registration, Legal Identity, and the Post-2015 Agenda


As the post-2015 process to determine the successor set of goals to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) moves into its final year, much of the UN inter-governmental negotiations will turn to strengthening and quantifying individual targets. Governments, civil society leaders, academics, and policymakers from around the world have put forth hundreds of potential targets for the post-2015 development agenda: universal legal identity through birth registration is one target that has consistently remained after many rounds of negotiations. However the target, as it has been put forth, conflates legal identity and birth registration: two distinct, though related, undertakings with different implementation strategies and different feasible targets. This policy note clarifies these two processes and offers measurable, achievable target language for each component to ensure that this important issue remains in the post-2015 agenda in an impactful way.

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