“BACHOK: A poor student faces the risk of being barred from taking her Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) examination next week, all because of her parents’ failure to report her birth 15 years ago. A brother who is due to take his Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) next year might also face the predicament because of the same problem, while an elder brother missed school because of poverty and the lack of proper identification papers. Haryani Ismail, 15, is studying in Form Three at SMK Pak Badol while her younger brother Hazwan, 11, is in Year Five at SK Pak Padol here. Their mother Zawahir Mat Daud, 54, said another 11 children, now aged between 25 and 40 years, have identity cards. (NST – 01/10/09)”
The above news report reflects the need for parents to be diligent and careful about registering the birth of their children promptly. Unfortunately, the plight of Haryani is not uncommon. There are quite a number of kids in our country who do not have all the needed documentations certifying clearly their identity. Not having these documents will result in the child’s failure to be registered in school, not being accorded affordable medical care, the lack of access to welfare benefits and will also greatly reduce their chances of gaining proper employment in the future.
Article 7 from the Convention of the Rights of the Child
1. The child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and. as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents.
2. States Parties shall ensure the implementation of these rights in accordance with their national law and their obligations under the relevant international instruments in this field, in particular where the child would otherwise be stateless.