1 July 2013

Liberia: Ellen Closes Down Birth Certificate Division At Health Ministry - Report

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has reportedly closed down the Birth Certificate Division at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.

According to credible report obtained by the Heritage over the weekend, President Johnson-Sirleaf took the action on Friday, June 28, 2013 after she held a meeting with authorities of the Ministries of Health and Social Welfare and Justice at her Foreign Minister office in Monrovia.

The report divulged that President Johnson-Sirleaf stated that the Birth Certificate Division at the ministry would remain closed pending the outcome of an investigation, which is expected to last for one month.

The closure of the Birth Certificate Division by the President, the report further divulged, followed complaints by a certain government official(name withheld) that authorities at the Birth Certificate Division were allegedly issuing birth certificates to non-Liberians and that they were also involved in preferential treatment as it relates to the issuance of birth certificates among others.

But some critics of the government have criticized the reported action of the President, describing it as "politically motivated".

They averred that the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child, which Liberia is a signatory to, allows non-Liberians once they were born here to obtain their birth certificates here. They added that the issuance of birth certificates has nothing do with tribe, color etc.

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