Civil Registration and Vital Statistics

13 June 2010-Dhaka, Bangladesh- People waiting for the bus during rush hou,  Photo Credit: Kibae Park

Civil registration is the critical act of recording important events in people’s lives such as births, marriages, divorces, adoptions, deaths, and causes of death. It provides individuals with the official recognition and documentation necessary to establish legal identity, family relationships and civil status. This documentation is essential for individuals to exercise various human, legal, economic, social and political rights and enables access to services, such as health, education and social protection. Some examples include seeking employment, voting, transferring property, opening bank accounts, accessing credit and obtaining identification for instance ID cards, passports and driving licenses.

Vital statistics generated from civil registration significantly contribute to the formulation of effective and efficient evidence-based policy across multiple sectors. Reliable information on births, fertility and deaths enable the production of timely and accurate population estimates and other demographic and health statistics, which contribute to more effective planning, efficient resource allocation and accurate evaluation and monitoring, such as of the MDG indicators.

ESCAP is working with governments and development partners to prioritise the improvement of civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS), including birth registration. This involves conducting assessments of national CRVS systems and work towards improving awareness of the importance of CRVS. A Ministerial Meeting on CRVS will be convened in November 2014 to assure continuous support to strengthen CRVS in Asia and the Pacific.