This side-event was organized by UNICEF. It took place online on 11 November 2021, from 14:30 to 16:00 hrs, Bangkok time.
The ability of individuals to prove their identity – and the ability of governments to accurately identify beneficiaries – is a direct or indirect enabler of several SDGs, including those relating to gender equality and empowerment, access to basic health and education services, and child protection. Unique identifiers (usually in the form of a unique identification number) can be an important element in a well-functioning CRVS system and are increasingly important in identity management and data linkage – both within line ministries, and between ministries and the national statistical system.
UNICEF has a specific mandate to protect, respect and uphold the rights of children and their families globally, and to help facilitate full implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC); including supporting the establishment of a legal identity at birth. Unique identification numbers are used across a broad range of functional registers – including health, education, and child protection, improving the accountability and effectiveness of cash programming. But a discussion on when and how to link data – balancing privacy against the risks of not using data, and harnessing new technologies to help improve service delivery for better outcomes and improved inclusivity is often needed.
This side event aimed to give participants a better understanding of the various approaches to unique identifiers being used in administrative data systems relevant to children, common and emerging practices globally, current international recommendations and best-practice examples (and their consistency across sectors), and the benefits and risks of these approaches and recommendations.
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