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HC issues rule on giving birth certificate to street children

Published : 30 Jun 2022 10:02 PM

The High Court (HC) has issued a rule asking the authorities concerned of the government to explain as to why the respondents should not be directed to take necessary steps as per the existing law to issue birth certificate to all street children of the country.

The higher court also wanted to know from the respondents to explain why their inaction in not giving birth certificate to all street children of the country.

The High Court bench of Justice Md Mujibur Rahman Miah and Justice Khizir Hayat issued the order on Thursday (June 30) after hearing a writ petition filed by a rights organisation named ‘Sports for Hope and Independence (SHI)’.

Secretaries of the Women and Children Affairs Ministry and Home Ministry and Office of the Registrar General of the birth and death registration authorities have been asked to comply with the rule within four weeks.

The High Court also directed the respondents to submit a report before the court within three months describing the necessary steps they have taken to issue birth certificate to all the street children of Bangladesh under the existing law and rules.

Sharmin Farhana, President of the SHI, filed the writ petition on June 12 this year as a public interest litigation.

Barrister Tapas Kanti Baul appeared in the court hearing on behalf of the writ petitioner, while Deputy Attorney General Bepul Bagmar represented the state.

Barrister Tapas said, “A team of street children of Bangladesh will participate in the upcoming event of ‘Street Child World Cup Doha-2022’ scheduled to be held in October this year. But when they applied for passport they had been 

refused to get it as they could not show any birth registration certificate.”

“In this circumstance, the SHI filed an application on April 25 this year to the birth and death registration authorities for issuing birth certificate to them. But the authorities didn’t make any answer to the application. Then the organisation filed the writ petition,” said the lawyer.

Citing a 2014 statistics of the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), the lawyer said that there are more than 1.1 million street children in the country who have no birth registration certificates.

The government has made birth registration compulsory for all. But the street children are still out of birth registration due to various complications. One of the complications is that many street children have no identity of their parents.  

On the basis of Birth and Death Registration Act, 2004, according to the notification regarding the Birth and Death Registration Rules 2017 of the Local Government Department of the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives, birth of an orphaned child can be registered. The concerned registrar cannot refuse registration of birth or death due to lack of information.

The registration form has separate order for name, parent’s name, permanent address, current address but no order containing information for street children. Many street children have no identity and no place to live in.