Over 34 000 Namibians get national documents in mass initiative

HEADQUARTERS … The Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security’s headquarters in Windhoek. Photo: File

The Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security has announced that a total of 34 802 Namibians have acquired national documents since the introduction of its mass registration initiative for national documents.

The campaign started in February and will run until July in all 14 regions of the country.

Ministry spokesperson Margaret Kalo says the aim of the outreach programme is to ensure that the ministry increases registration coverage for national documents, especially for specific groups, such as those in hard-to-reach areas, vulnerable communities and schools.

“As part of the mass registration campaign countrywide, the ministry has also made provision to exempt at least 500 people per constituency from paying fees for birth certificate and ID card duplicate applications.

“These can be the vulnerable people of our society and those affected by disasters such as fire, among others,” she says.

“But this is only applicable to people who are vulnerable, or maybe their documents have been burnt. They have to be vulnerable, and not someone who is able to afford fees,” she says.

Kalo says the ministry has recorded a total of 15 382 first-time birth certificates and 19 239 new ID cards issued.

She says national documents are very important since they contribute to a sense of belonging, as well as establish a person’s legal identity.

“National documents are also necessary for one to access services such as education, employment and social grants. The ministry is therefore urging communities in all 14 regions of our country, who, for some reason, are not registered, but have the right supporting documents, to approach the nearest office to register their births and obtain ID cards,” she says.

Kalo says the registration of national documents include birth registration of all ages, applications for duplicate birth certificates, identity documents and duplicate identity documents.


Kalo urges mothers to register their babies immediately after birth at their hospitals where they were born.

She says Section 15 of the Namibian Constitution provides that children have the right to a name, to acquire a nationality and, subject to legislation enacted in the best interests of children, as far as possible the right to know and be cared for by their parents.

“Birth registration is therefore a human right. It establishes the child’s legal identity, which, together with the ascertainment of that child’s citizenship, is essential for accessing a range of services, such as education, healthcare and social protection,” Kalo says.

She says birth registration provides vital statistical data that informs policy and planning at national and international level.

“Provision is made for all children from 0 to 12 months to be registered at our hospital-based offices. These offices are at all state hospitals in all 14 regions of the country.

“Children from 12 months and above can be registered at any home affairs office in the region,” she says.

She says the government will continue to prioritise birth registration as a key component of its development agenda, and invest in the necessary infrastructure, human resources and policies to ensure that every child is registered at birth.

“At the same time the ministry will continue to address the underlying socio-economic and cultural factors that contribute to late birth registration and work towards creating an enabling environment that supports timely birth registration.”

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