What would it be like to live without any formal documentation to show who you are and where you’ve come from? This is the reality for many poor and disadvantaged people in Vietnam. Every day is a struggle because they don’t officially exist.
For only $80 you can make a powerful impact by giving the gift of a legal identity.
A basic right
In Vietnam, not having a legal identity can reinforce generations of disadvantage and poverty. Without a legal identity in Vietnam:
- Children cannot go to school
- Teens and adults cannot get work, or are forced to take ‘under the counter’ work with no job security
- Families have no access to social services, including hospitals
- Families cannot rent houses, own land and vehicles, or open bank accounts
- Vulnerable children are not protected by the law and are easy targets for exploitation, especially by human traffickers
Pieces of the puzzle
Since 2006, Blue Dragon has secured legal identities for 5,167 children and adults. This includes obtaining and officially registering birth and marriage certificates, identification cards and other family records with local authorities. Each case is a unique and often complex puzzle – but bringing all the pieces together changes lives.
A birth certificate is one of the simplest ways to prove your identity, yet many people lack even this basic document. Some parents have never received their own birth certificates or there may be clerical mistakes in their documents. If a child’s parents don’t have accurate legal documents, it is exceptionally difficult for that child to gain a legal identity.
A child without a birth certificate will also need a ‘note of birth’ written by the hospital where the child was born to prove the place of birth. Many poor women give birth at home or cannot afford to pay for this note. It becomes more complicated when a child is homeless or has no known family, because there is no one who can provide information about the birth.
Some families have tried for years to register their children without success. Obtaining the right documents involves a combination of detective work and relationship building that is beyond the means of disadvantaged families.
Blue Dragon has developed positive, collaborative relationships with hospitals, local police and government officials. We work with families, providing advice, assistance and encouragement, when there is no-one else to guide them through the process. As trusted advocates for disadvantaged children, we obtain the legal documents when families cannot.
Children and families tell us that this process has been life saving: parents gain employment, children can go to school, and families get the medical treatment they desperately need. As one mother told us, “We are human beings now. We are recognized as people.”
Blue Dragon knows many children and parents who need a legal identity. If you would like to make a powerful change by providing the gift of a legal identity, please donate to Blue Dragon now!