News & Events

24 Nov 2020
CRVS Champion: Ms. Kamni Naidu

The ESCAP CRVS team is proud to announce the launch of a new series we are calling "CRVS Champions". Each month, our community newsletter will put a spotlight on one person from Asia-Pacific that has gone above and beyond in their efforts to support CRVS programmes, raise awareness of CRVS issues or lead CRVS improvement efforts in their home country. This month we are happy to highlight Ms. Kamni Naidu from Fiji.

What is your current title and role?

I am the Administrator-General in the Ministry of Justice, Government of the Republic of Fiji

My key role, amongst others, is to oversee the overall administration of the legal registries within the Ministry of Justice and these are: (1) Births, Deaths and Marriages Office, (2) Official Receiver’s Office, (3) Registrar of Titles Office, (4) Registrar of Companies Office.

Can you please share with us a particular experience which highlighted the importance of CRVS to you?

I have been in my current role since April 2018 and I have been closely working with the Births, Deaths and Marriages (‘BDM’) office. We have about 20 BDM offices around Fiji and there are several people who access this office on a daily basis. Working with BDM staff and effectively serving the many people who access our office is an experience on its own. Being an essential service in Fiji, we are required to have an effective and efficient civil registration system more so as a birth certificate is the source document to access a lot of services in Fiji including admission in school, passport, and lot more.

How are you currently involved in CRVS improvements?

We have a CRVS committee in Fiji and I chair this committee. We have representatives from the Bureau of Statistics, Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Ministry of iTaukei Affairs, Ministry of Education and National Heritage, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Communications and some ad hoc members. Our main goal is to achieve the set targets of reaching 100% completeness rate and ensure that births and deaths are registered within the required time.

Together with the Registrar-General at the BDM office, I work closely with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services to ensure that births and deaths occurring in Fiji are registered on time. We have number of ongoing digital projects to ensure that the systems used to register births and deaths in Fiji are integrated whilst data accuracy and integrity is maintained.

I am the chair of the Regional Steering Group for Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) in Asia and the Pacific and I also work closely with Gloria Mathenge- CRVS advisor at the Pacific Community to achieve our intended targets.

How would you like to see CRVS in Fiji develop by the end of the CRVS Decade?

Fiji does have a functioning CRVS system which registers births and deaths, issues birth and death certificates, and compiles and disseminates vital statistics, and we would like to ensure that we register all births and deaths on time. We would like to see 100% completeness in births and death registrations.

Which advice would you give to others trying to improve CRVS systems?

My advice, given my current experience, working with the BDM office is to have a very streamlined documented processes to ensure that all information given at the time of birth and death is captured, accurately. A birth certificate shows that a person has a legal identity, name, nationality, proof of age, and the related are important human rights and enables individuals to exercise their rights, so it is vital that we advocate this right and have the means and measures to ensure that everyone is able to obtain a birth certificate – and that such service should be accessible, efficient and allow for on time registration.

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