UNDP - Varansi Elections..MAY 12–VARANASI, INDIA. First time voters line up to vote at a local polling station set up at National Inter College in Varanasi on May 12, 2014.

Legal Identity

People with no legal identity are often pushed to the margins of society, unable to prove who they are, secure decent work, acquire a driver’s license, apply for benefits, or "exist" in society. They are often exposed to extreme vulnerabilities and have limited access to public goods and services as well as private services.

Article 6 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights states that everybody has the right to a legal identity. Sustainable Development Goal Target 16.9 ("legal identity for all, including birth registration, by 2030") has been acknowledged as crucial for advancing the 2030 Agenda commitment to leave no one behind. However, hundreds of millions of people still lack proper identification, and about half of the world's countries do not have a universal system for registering births and deaths.

The United Nations Legal Identity Agenda Task Force, co-chaired by UNDP, UNDESA, and UNICEF, is working with Member States to ensure that more than 300 million people acquire a legal identity by 2025.  UNDP is strengthening the capacity of Member States to develop holistic, country-owned, sustainable and interoperable civil registration, vital statistics and identity management systems. UNDP  is working to increase the number of countries that address legal identity issues as a foundational pillar of national development plans and strategies and ensure that everyone, without exception, has access to essential public goods and services.

For more information on UNDP's work in this important area, visit the following websites:

A selection of our resources: