By Chrystie Swiney

On November 10 (Eastern Standard Time) & 11 (Bangkok time), Associate Director and Legal Adviser of the Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) program at the Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI), Chrystie Swiney, will help lead a side-event for the Second Ministerial Conference on CRVS in Asia and the Pacific, which commemorates the midpoint in the Asia-Pacific CRVS Decade (2015-2024). The shared goal, declared at the First Ministerial Conference on CRVS in 2014, was to “Get Everyone in the Picture” by ensuring universal and responsive CRVS systems for all people in all countries of the Asia-Pacific region.

This side-event, entitled “Review and revision of CRVSID legal frameworks: An essential component of CRVS system strengthening,” will examine the CRVSID Legal Review process, a foundational activity that forms part of the broader Data for Health Initiative, overseen by GHAI. Co-organized with Vital Strategies, the CDC Foundation, and the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), GHAI’s Chrystie Swiney will open the event by providing an overview of the legal review process and methodology, including the CRVSID Legal and Regulatory Review Toolkit.

The CRVSID Toolkit was specifically developed as a step-by-step guide for in-country lawyers to complete the legal review process with the support of GHAI. The goal of a legal review is to identity where a country’s current CRVSID legal frameworks do and do not align with international best practices, and based on these findings, to offer a series of specific and actionable recommendations for legal and policy reform.

Following an introduction to the legal review process, a representative from the UNSD will discuss the UN Guidelines on a Legislative Framework for Civil Registration, Vital Statistics, and ID Management (UNGOLF), which were published in 2019 and form the basis of the best practices contained in the CRVSID Toolkit. Three country case studies will then be presented, featuring the Philippines, Cambodia, and the Solomon Islands, each of which has undergone a legal review and is currently in the legal reform process. The key stakeholder from each country, supported by the lawyers who assisted with their legal review, will present on their experiences participating in a legal review process and the legal reform measures that are now being adopted or considered.

The side-event will end with an interactive workshop, where audience members will be asked a series of questions about their civil registration systems and laws, followed by a discussion about how their observations measure up against best practices. This activity is designed to highlight how common it is for current CRVS practices and laws to contradict best practices, further emphasizing the importance of the legal review process and the need for legal reform.

We hope that all will join in this exciting interactive workshop on November 10 at 9:00 pm- 10:30 pm (EST) / November 11 at 9:00-10:30 (Bangkok time). Click here to register.

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