In Indonesia, more than 40 million children lack legal identity documents, such as birth certificates, and roughly half of marriages are not registered. Impoverished populations living in remote areas have disproportionately low civil registration coverage, with as many as 75% of children not having a birth certificate, according to one PUSKAPA study. Death registration is almost non-existent and there is a significant gap in knowledge about the leading causes of death.
There are many benefits to owning legal identity documents. They can be used to secure other basic rights and services, such as education, social protection, health insurance, legal protection, and financial services. These documents also enable local governments to monitor and respond to underage marriages and child labor. Legal marriage and divorce documents have a critical impact on many related areas of social and economic development, including access to assets, subsidized health care, and cash transfer schemes. Legal identity documents are key end-products of effective Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) systems. In the absence of a strong CRVS system, the Government cannot effectively plan, implement, and monitor population services, especially in the context of political decentralization. Moreover, without legal identity documents, individuals are less visible to development programs and have less access to basic services.
PUSKAPA supports efforts to improve children's access to legal identity documents and to build an effective CRVS system that will then improve the quality, accountability, and timeliness of programs and basic services, with a view towards improving the well-being of Indonesia's population.