Published On: Mon, Apr 7th, 2014

OAS digitalizes and catalogues 2.5 million vital statistics records in six Eastern Caribbean countries

OASWASHINGTON, USA -- The Organization of American States (OAS), through its Universal Civil Identity Program in the Americas (PUICA), has completed a project to assist the civil registries in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines to digitalize vital statistical information.

PUICA initiated its Eastern Caribbean modernization project three years ago to scan vital statistic certificates and input this information on searchable databases. During the implementation of the project some 2.5 million records of vital statistics were digitalized and catalogued.

Electronic databases of birth, death, marriage and divorces offer increased efficiency and lower costs. Vital statistics information, produced by the civil registries and virtually stored, can help provide social services to those who are entitled to it. It can increase the efficiency of land titling and help provide for cleaner voter rolls.

During the project, PUICA purchased equipment, developed software and trained data entry clerks to scan and input information from books containing birth, death, marriage, adoption and legitimization certificates. The governments of Canada, Luxembourg and South Korea made contributions that allowed for the completion of the project.

Civil registry authorities from the six countries met in St Vincent and the Grenadines in October 2013 to discuss the progress made and to plan next steps to use the data. Those next steps could include connecting the databases with passport offices and other state entities in charge of issuing the multi-purpose identification card, and linking hospitals with the civil registry for bedside registration.

The OAS Universal Civil Identity Project of the Americas supports member states in their efforts to eradicate under-registration, in order to ensure recognition of the right to civil identity for all persons in the region. All the activities of PUICA are geared towards fulfilling the five objectives set by the Inter-American Program for Universal Civil Registry and the Right to Identity: universalization and accessibility of civil registration and the right to identity, strengthening policies, public institutions and legislation, promoting participation and awareness on the issue, identifying best practices, and encouraging international and regional cooperation.

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