Civil Registration In Uganda

Civil Registration In Uganda

A well-functioning civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) system registers all births and deaths, issues birth and death certificates, and compiles and disseminates vital statistics, including cause of death information. It may also record marriages and divorces.

Civil registration is the system by which a government records the vital events of its citizens and residents. The resulting repository or database has different names in different countries. The primary purpose of civil registration is to establish the legal documents required by law. Civil registration generates documentation that supports an individual’s right to recognition as a person before the law and acknowledges their formal relationship with the country.

It is a continuous, permanent and compulsory recording of vital events occurring in the life of an individual such as birth, marriage, and death, as well as court decrees, and legal instruments affecting his civil status in appropriate registers as mandated. The purpose of registration of a document is to give ‘notice to the world’ of a certain property document having been executed. Record keeping is another important function of registration offices and these records are permanent for all practical purposes.

Requirement For Civil Registration In Uganda

Proof of citizenship for example a passport or national identification card. An LC 1 letter clearly stating duration of residence in the district in which the marriage is intended to be solemnized (this should not be less than 15 days). One passport size photograph each.

Legislative Framework For Civil Registration In Uganda

The civil registration system in Uganda is governed by a number of legal instruments.

Registration of births and deaths is governed by the Registration of Persons Act 20158 . The Act provides for compulsory registration of births, deaths and national identification. The 2015 Act repealed the existing Births and Deaths Registration Act and transferred the registration of births and deaths function from the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) to the NIRA.

Marriage registration is mandated by the Marriage Act 1904; and Customary Marriage Registration Act (1973) Cap 2489 .

The Children’s Law of 2008 covers Adoption Registration .

The Act on births and deaths is universal in its coverage as it covers all population groups in the country, including non-nationals and refugees. The definitions of births and deaths are also aligned with international recommendations.

Management, Organization And Operations For Civil Registration In Uganda

The Registration of Persons Act 2015 mandates NIRA to register births, deaths and adoptions as they occur and to register all persons in the country, and to issue National Identification Numbers for citizens and lien Identification Numbers for alien residents.

The information gathered is used to establish and maintain a National Identification Register.  URSB is responsible for licensing churches to celebrate marriages and solemnizing civil marriages.

National CRVS Systems Coordination Mechanisms For Civil Registration In Uganda

The civil registration system improvement work is coordinated by a national task force which consists of the following members: Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB);

Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs; Ministry of Health

Ministry of Local Government

Ministry of Education and sports

Ministry of Gender and Labor and Social Development

National Planning Authority; Electoral Commission; Population Secretariat; and Development partners: United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

World Health Organization (WHO)

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

UNHCR; World Vision; and Plan International

Administrative Level Registration Centres For Civil Registration In Uganda

Uganda has 116 Districts; 200 Counties; 1,440 sub-Counties; 7,571 Parishes; and 57,858 Villages. The local civil registration offices for births and deaths are at the district levels. Currently, there are a total of 152 births and deaths registration offices throughout the country.

Nineteen (14 per cent) of the total registration offices are located in urban areas and 133 (86 per cent) are in rural areas. For marriages, there are 2,095 service points in the country. Out of these, 133 service points are in urban areas where Marriage Registrars solemnize marriages; and 1,943 for customary marriages in rural areas.

Accessibility Of Civil Registration Services For Civil Registration In Uganda

Most households reside more than 10 kilometres from the nearest local registration office. It was estimated that it could take up to 4 hours for most service seekers to reach the nearest office. ln some of the areas, the service points are so far that it could take up to 4 hours by car to reach it.

Interface With Other Sectors And Operations For Civil Registration In Uganda

The Registration of Persons Act, 2015 provides the basis to harmonise and incorporate different systems into a national register of persons. A unique National Identification Number is issued by NIRA when a birth is registered linking the civil registration system.  The civil registration and national identification systems are under NIRA but they are not currently electronically linked.

The health sector plays an important role in the notification of occurrence of births and deaths in health facilities, including providing causes of deaths. However, the link between NIRA, which registers births and deaths, and URSB, which registers marriages, is not clear.

Vital Statistics System For Civil Registration In Uganda

The Uganda Bureau of Statistics Act 1998 states the Bureau is responsible for matters relating to which statistical information may be collected, compiled, analyzed, abstracted and published on different areas, including vital occurrences and mortality. It also mentions that UBOS is mandated to collect routine administrative statistics, which includes civil registration.

The Registration of Persons Act of 2015 states that the register shall be used for statistical purposes, among others.  However, it does not mention the collection, compilation and dissemination of vital statistics from the civil registration system. It should be noted that the Ugandan Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) is member of the board of NIRA.

UBOS collects, complies and disseminates vital statistics from decennial population censuses and household surveys such as the Demographic and Health Survey every 5-years or so. The Bureau does not compile and disseminate vital statistics from civil registration.

Causes Of Death For Civil Registration In Uganda

Causes of death information is only collected and recorded for deaths occurring in health facilities. Medical officers are required by regulation to complete a NIRA cause of death form for deaths occurring in health facilities. According to NIRA, causes of death are coded according to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) format.

UBOS includes few causes of under-five health facility-based mortality data in its Annual Statistical Abstract. The information is obtained from Ministry of Health.

At this stage, there is no initiative by NIRA or UBOS  to implement a verbal autopsy procedure to determine probable causes of death for deaths occurring outside health facilities.

Forms Fees For Civil Registration In Uganda

ServiceDetailsNational Applications (Ugx)
Registration of a customary marriage within six (6) monthsUGX 20,000
Registration of a customary marriage after six (6) monthsUGX 40,000
Special LicensesProcess applications for special licensesUGX 300,000
Issuance of Special licenseFREE

Office Location For Civil Registration In Uganda

Uganda Registration Services Bureau

Uganda Business Facilitation Centre Plot 1 Baskerville Avenue, Kololo

Toll Free: 0800 100 006

Call Center: +256 417 338 100

Phone: +256 414 233 219 / 0417338000

Whistle Blower Hotline: 0414673200

WhatsApp: 0712 448 448

Fax: +256 414 250 712 (General Correspondences) (For Enquiries)