Right to an Identity

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Right to an identity is the legal and social recognition of a person as having rights and obligations as well as having a state, a territory, a society and a family. This right to an identity is exercised through a birth certificate which allows a child to acquire an identity, name and nationality in addition to being subject to the rights and obligations of his or her nation state.

Based on the above, we have been working on this project for the past few years with the pro bono support from the legal department of General Electric (GE México), the legal firm Greenberg Traurig and UNICEF Mexico. The objective of this study was to understand the real impact of an absence of a legal identity and carry out research on the corresponding legal, cultural and social barriers that come from failing to register a birth in civil records.

With this analysis we were able to study how Mexican legislation protects the right to an identity and guarantees the right of parents to register a birth in civil records.

Currently, with the support of UNICEF Mexico and other nonprofit organizations, the House of Representatives (Cámara de Diputados) just approved the initiative of the modification to the 4th Constitutional Article to ensure that the state provides birth registration as a universal right, free of charge and in a timely fashion, thus eliminating the economic barriers. Now is the turn of the Mexican Senate to evaluate the initiative of the modification to the 4th Constitutional Article.

Besides the legislative work, Appleseed Mexico has been working with UNICEF Mexico to provide information to other organizations and participate in different workshops and forums related to this important project.