Not all aboriginal kids Australia recive a birth certificate

Monday, 4 July, 2016 - 10:45

Thousands of Aboriginal children are likely to have no official identity in Western Australia because they have no birth documents, a new study has found.

The study, published in The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health on Monday, has found that one in five aboriginal children have not been given birth certificates.

As a result, 4,628 births to Aboriginal mothers weren't recorded in the registry in the 16 years from 1996 to 2012.

With documentation comes the ability to access services. University of Sydney lead author Alison Gibberd said the fault was with the system.

"In its current form, Western Australia's birth registration system doesn't ensure that all children have registered births," Gibberd.

"Australia is a signatory to several international conventions to ensure that all children have the right to be registered immediately after birth, but an unacceptably high number of Aboriginal children don't achieve this right."

The research indicates that kids born to teenage mothers were five times more likely to remain unregistered than those born to mothers over 30.

It also says mothers who were themselves unregistered were three times more likely to have an unregistered child.

Western Australia has the third highest Aborigine population in the country, with 88,270 people identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, according to 2011 census data.

The communities are considered the most disadvantaged in Australia, suffering higher rates of imprisonment, unemployment, illness and child mortality.

Sandra Eades, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute Aboriginal health leader, said there are clearly barriers stopping Aboriginal families from registering their child.

Around 290 million children do not possess a birth certificate all around the world, according to the United Nations children's agency UNICEF.

Without a birth certificate,one will face social disadvantage later in life, including difficulties in possessing a passport, opening a bank account, enrolling in university or finding employment.