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CIVIL REGISTRATION AND VITAL STATISTICS

IN ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka

The centralized civil registration system of Sri Lanka is the responsibility of the Registrar General's Department, with registrar’s divisions in the 332 Divisional Secretariats, for a total close to one thousand registration divisions. The current civil registration system is based on a 1951 law, last amended in 2008. Vital statistics are compiled at the Statistics Branch of the Registrar General’s Department from the birth and death returns provided by the Registrars of Births and Deaths. The legal time limit for birth and death registration is 3 months, and both acts are free of charge if done in time. Death registration is now mandatory to obtain a funeral permit.

 

A lot of the births happening in health facilities, with an estimated 97.2% of children between 0 and 5 years old registered in 2006–2007. However, since only 50% of deaths occur in such facilities, some deaths are not registered, and even more do not have a proper cause of death defined. Other challenges include the proper declaration of still-births, and the problem of child marriage.

 

To face these problems, Sri Lanka has widely implemented verbal autopsy methods, to have a better image of cause of deaths which occur outside of health facilities. By increasing the collaboration between different stakeholders, the country has also managed to produce its vital statistics reports in a timely manner. A population e-register, with a unique identification number, is now being piloted, to prepare for a wider implementation.

CRVS Focal Point:

Mr. P.V. Gunathilaka, Commissioner General, Department for Registrations of Persons

RSG Member:

Ms. M.M. Darshanie, Senior Statistician of the Medical Statistical Unit, Ministry of Health, Nutrition & Indigenous Medicine

Sri Lanka

Goal 1. Universal civil registration of births, deaths and other vital events

Goal 1 Targets:

1.A
By 2024, at least … per cent of births in the territory and jurisdiction in the given year are registered.
1.B
By 2024, at least … per cent of children under 5 years old in the territory and jurisdiction have had their birth registered.
1.C
By 2024, at least … per cent of all individuals in the territory and jurisdiction have had their birth registered.
1.D
By 2024, at least … per cent of all deaths that take place in the territory and jurisdiction in the given year are registered.
1.E
By 2024, at least … per cent of all deaths recorded by the health sector in the territory and jurisdiction in the given year have a medically certified cause of death recorded using the international form of the death certificate.

Goal 2. All individuals are provided with legal documentation of civil registration of births, deaths and other vital events, as necessary, to claim identity, civil status and ensuing rights

Goal 2 Targets:

2.A
By 2024, at least … per cent of all births registered in the territory and jurisdiction are accompanied with the issuance of an official birth certificate that includes, as a minimum, the individual’s name, sex, date and place of birth, and name of parent(s) where known.
2.B
By 2024, at least … per cent of all deaths registered in the territory and jurisdiction in the given year are accompanied with the issuance of an official death certificate which includes, as a minimum, the deceased’s name, date of death, sex, and age.

Goal 3. Accurate, complete and timely vital statistics (including on causes of death) are produced based on registration records and are disseminated

Goal 3 Targets:

3.A
By … (year), annual nationally representative statistics on births – disaggregated by age of mother, sex of child, geographic area and administrative subdivision – are produced from registration records or other valid administrative data sources.
3.B
By … (year), annual nationally representative statistics on deaths – disaggregated by age, sex, cause of death defined by ICD (latest version as appropriate), geographic area and administrative subdivision – are produced from registration records or other valid administrative data sources.
3.C
By 2024, at least … per cent of deaths occurring in health facilities or with the attention of a medical practitioner have an underlying cause of death code derived from the medical certificate according to the standards defined by ICD (latest version as appropriate).
3.D
By 2024, the proportion of deaths coded to ill-defined codes will have been reduced to … per cent.
3.E
By 2024, at least … per cent of deaths taking place outside of a health facility and without the attention of a medical practitioner have their underlying cause of death code determined through verbal autopsy in line with international standards.
3.F
By … (year), key summary tabulations of vital statistics on births and deaths using registration records as the primary source, are made available in the public domain in electronic format annually, and within one calendar year.
3.G
By … (year), key summary tabulations of vital statistics on causes of death using registration records as the primary source, are made available in the public domain in electronic format annually, and within two calendar years.
3.H
By … (year), an accurate, complete and timely vital statistics report for the previous two years, using registration records as the primary source, is made available in the public domain.

Goal 1. Universal civil registration of births, deaths and other vital events

Goal 1 is an expression of the internationally accepted principle of the universal coverage of civil registration. The CRVS system should register all vital events occurring in the territory and jurisdiction of the country or area, including among hard-to-reach and marginalized populations.

National Targets:

1.A
By 2024, at least … per cent of births in the territory and jurisdiction in the given year are registered.

Note: This country has not submitted estimates for the number of births for all years. The level of completeness of birth registration was therefore assessed with international estimates for every year, to allow comparison. These measurements are therefore to be interpreted with caution.

BASELINE

2014

97%

MIDTERM

2018

98%

1.B
By 2024, at least … per cent of children under 5 years old in the territory and jurisdiction have had their birth registered.

MIDTERM

2007

97.2%

1.C
By 2024, at least … per cent of all individuals in the territory and jurisdiction have had their birth registered.
1.D
By 2024, at least … per cent of all deaths that take place in the territory and jurisdiction in the given year are registered.

Note: This country has not submitted estimates for the number of deaths for all years. The level of completeness of death registration was therefore assessed with international estimates for every year, to allow comparison. These measurements are therefore to be interpreted with caution.

baseline

2014

96%

MIDTERM

2018

99%

1.E
By 2024, at least … per cent of all deaths recorded by the health sector in the territory and jurisdiction in the given year have a medically certified cause of death recorded using the international form of the death certificate.

Goal 2. All individuals are provided with legal documentation of civil registration of births, deaths and other vital events, as necessary, to claim identity, civil status and ensuing rights

Goal 2 reflects that CRVS systems provide legal documentation of civil registration to individuals and families for legal and administrative purposes. Legal documentation is strongly linked with a broad range of rights and activities, in particular legal identity. This goal addresses the distinction between the civil registration of a vital event and the possession of formal proof that it took place, in the form of legal documentation.

National Targets:

2.A
By 2024, at least … per cent of all births registered in the territory and jurisdiction are accompanied with the issuance of an official birth certificate that includes, as a minimum, the individual’s name, sex, date and place of birth, and name of parent(s) where known.

baseline

2013

100%

MIDTERM

2015

100%

2.B
By 2024, at least … per cent of all deaths registered in the territory and jurisdiction in the given year are accompanied with the issuance of an official death certificate which includes, as a minimum, the deceased’s name, date of death, sex, and age.

baseline

2013

100%

MIDTERM

2014

100%

Goal 3. Accurate, complete and timely vital statistics (including on causes of death) are produced based on registration records and are disseminated

Goal 3 highlights the critical importance of civil registration being linked to the production and quality assurance of vital statistics on the occurrence and characteristics of vital events.

National Targets:

3.A
By … (year), annual nationally representative statistics on births – disaggregated by age of mother, sex of child, geographic area and administrative subdivision – are produced from registration records or other valid administrative data sources.

TARGET

Target achieved

3.B
By … (year), annual nationally representative statistics on deaths – disaggregated by age, sex, cause of death defined by ICD (latest version as appropriate), geographic area and administrative subdivision – are produced from registration records or other valid administrative data sources.

TARGET

Target achieved

3.C
By 2024, at least … per cent of deaths occurring in health facilities or with the attention of a medical practitioner have an underlying cause of death code derived from the medical certificate according to the standards defined by ICD (latest version as appropriate).

 

Note: This target was not monitored as part of the Midterm Questionnaire on the Implementation of the Regional Action Framework for CRVS in Asia and the Pacific.

3.D
By 2024, the proportion of deaths coded to ill-defined codes will have been reduced to … per cent.

baseline

2013

33%

MIDTERM

2014

32.5%

3.E
By 2024, at least … per cent of deaths taking place outside of a health facility and without the attention of a medical practitioner have their underlying cause of death code determined through verbal autopsy in line with international standards.

Note: In light of recent countries’ experiences, Verbal autopsy is not encouraged to be applied to a large population scale, but rather on a representative sample. To reflect this, Target 3E is not anymore monitored by the coverage percentage of Verbal autopsy, but by the use or not of Verbal autopsy and its different applications.

MIDTERM

Yes

3.F
By … (year), key summary tabulations of vital statistics on births and deaths using registration records as the primary source, are made available in the public domain in electronic format annually, and within one calendar year.

TARGET

Target achieved

3.G
By … (year), key summary tabulations of vital statistics on causes of death using registration records as the primary source, are made available in the public domain in electronic format annually, and within two calendar years.
3.H
By … (year), an accurate, complete and timely vital statistics report for the previous two years, using registration records as the primary source, is made available in the public domain.

TARGET

Target achieved

Sri Lanka

National Coordination Mechanism

Status in Sri Lanka: No data

Comprehensive Assessment

Status in Sri Lanka: No data

National Targets for 2024

Status in Sri Lanka: Not started

Monitoring & Reporting Plan

Status in Sri Lanka: No data

Inequality Assessment

Status in Sri Lanka: No data

National Strategy

Status in Sri Lanka: No data

National Focal Point

Status in Sri Lanka: Complete

Reporting to ESCAP - Baseline

Status in Sri Lanka: Not started

Reporting to ESCAP - Midterm

Status in Sri Lanka: Complete

Sri Lanka Events
The second CR8 meeting was jointly organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the…
24 July 2018 - 25 July 2018
The UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia (UNICEF-ROSA) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) are…
09 December 2015 - 10 December 2015
The workshop for National CRVS Focal Points is aimed at strengthening capacities for setting national targets and collecting, compiling and…
Sri Lanka News
20 July 2020
The Civil Registration Professionals of South Asia (CR8) is a network dedicated to improving the national CRVS systems. To collaborate on common,…
08 February 2019
Between 28 - 30 January, in Bangkok, Thailand, Vital Strategies and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP…
30 August 2018
The first meeting of the Civil Registration Professionals of South Asia (CR8) took place between 24 - 25 July in Kathmandu, Nepal. Co-organized by…
03 April 2017
Do you want to know how many countries in Asia and the Pacific have a CRVS coordination mechanism? Are you interested in how ambitious the national…
09 May 2016
This workshop joins ESCAPs latest efforts to imporve CRVS in the region by using an Enterprise Architecture approach on the exisitng Civil…
29 April 2016
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Sri Lanka Resources
Advocacy Materials, Meeting Documents, Report, 2020
This publication builds on the success of the first meeting of the Civil Registration Professionals of South Asia in July 2018 and expands on the…
Training and Tools, 2019
This resource provides a full list of members for the Regional Steering Group for CRVS in Asia and the Pacific. The list includes members for both…
Newsletters, 2019
Articles 23 Member Countries have already reported on their CRVS progress since 2015 South Asia makes huge progress in birth registration, shows…
Report, 2018
Civil registration is a priority on the policy agenda of countries across South Asia. The governments in the region are committed to achieving the…
Country Assessments and Strategies, Report, 2019
The "Status of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics in South Asia" report documents the policies, systems and procedures in place for the…
Newsletters, 2018
Articles Loss of a child rights champion  Looking at the numbers First meeting of the Civil Registrars of South Asia Planning in a Vacuum CRVS…
Advocacy Materials, 2017
Civil Registration and Vital Statistics play a key role in facilitating progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. A well-functioning CRVS…
Advocacy Materials, 2014
An effective Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) system helps secure a person’s legal identity, tracks the major events of an individual’s…
Advocacy Materials, Country Assessments and Strategies, 2017
Do you want to know how many countries in Asia and the Pacific have a CRVS coordination mechanism? Are you interested in how ambitious the national…
Country Assessments and Strategies, 2016
As part of the CRVS D4H Initiative, Sri Lanka is focused on improving the quality of mortality statistics. Through four prioritised interventions,…
Journals, Articles and Working Papers, 2010
The handbook is one of the outputs of the Asian Development Bank regional technical assistance (TA) on Improving Administrative Data Sources for the…
Meeting Documents, UN Official Documents, 2016
The seventy-first session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific adopted resolution 71/14 on the Asian and Pacific Civil…
International Standards and Recommendations, UN Official Documents, 2014
Through Commission resolution 69/15, countries in Asia and the Pacific requested that further regional action be taken to support the improvement of…
Country Statements, 2014
Country statement delivered during the Ministerial Conference under agenda item 4 - Implementation of the Regional Action Framework on CRVS in Asia…
Advocacy Materials, Meeting Documents, 2014
The Ministerial Declaration to "Get every one in the picture' in Asia and the Pacific was made at the Ministerial Conference on Civil Registration…
Meeting Documents, Report, UN Official Documents, 2014
The Report of the Ministerial Conference on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics in Asia and the Pacific gives an overview of the main outcomes of…
Sri Lanka

The centralized civil registration system of Sri Lanka is the responsibility of the Registrar General's Department, with registrar’s divisions in the 332 Divisional Secretariats, for a total close to one thousand registration divisions. The current civil registration system is based on a 1951 law, last amended in 2008. Vital statistics are compiled at the Statistics Branch of the Registrar General’s Department from the birth and death returns provided by the Registrars of Births and Deaths. The legal time limit for birth and death registration is 3 months, and both acts are free of charge if done in time. Death registration is now mandatory to obtain a funeral permit.

 

A lot of the births happening in health facilities, with an estimated 97.2% of children between 0 and 5 years old registered in 2006–2007. However, since only 50% of deaths occur in such facilities, some deaths are not registered, and even more do not have a proper cause of death defined. Other challenges include the proper declaration of still-births, and the problem of child marriage.

 

To face these problems, Sri Lanka has widely implemented verbal autopsy methods, to have a better image of cause of deaths which occur outside of health facilities. By increasing the collaboration between different stakeholders, the country has also managed to produce its vital statistics reports in a timely manner. A population e-register, with a unique identification number, is now being piloted, to prepare for a wider implementation.

CRVS Focal Point:

Mr. P.V. Gunathilaka, Commissioner General, Department for Registrations of Persons

RSG Member:

Ms. M.M. Darshanie, Senior Statistician of the Medical Statistical Unit, Ministry of Health, Nutrition & Indigenous Medicine

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