Key demographic indicators

113.5 PER 1,000 LIVE BIRTHS

Under-five mortality rate

6,453,000

Population

Disparities by household wealth

Oral rehydration:
Children under five with receiving ORS (%)

Secondary education:
Net attendance ratio in secondary education (%)

Birth registration:
Children under age 5 whose births are registered (%)

SIERRA LEONE

 

 

A well developed and functioning civil registration system ensures the registration of all vital events including births, marriages and deaths and issues relevant certificates as proof of such registration. Civil registration promotes efficient government planning, effective use of resources and aid, and more accurate monitoring of progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

 

 

Legal framework for birth registration Births and Deaths Act, 1983 (repealed as of 30 June 2016, but still currently applied)

National Civil Registration Act, 2016

Official authorities in charge of registering births National Office of Births and Deaths within the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (until the new structure, the National Civil Registration Authority, begins operations)
Organizational structure Centralized
Is there a legal obligation to register the birth of a child? Yes
Is an official birth certificate issued as a result of birth registration? Yes, the process usually takes about one month if birth certificates are available in the district registrar’s office and peripheral health units or after the naming ceremony of a newborn.

Data on the number of registered births that are issued birth certificates are not available; evidence indicates that not all new births are registered.

Legal informant to register a birth Parent(s), Health worker, Community elder, Religious leader
Time allowed for registration 30 days, according to repealed Births and Deaths Registration Act (1983); the new law allows for 90 days
Fee for birth registration No
Can the fee be increased or waived? No
Fee for birth certificate No
Penalty for late registration Yes (Births and Deaths Registration Act, 1983)

Fees can be waived for all children under 5 years of age during mass registration campaigns (e.g., July 2015 polio vaccine campaign).

While a penalty for late registration is not stipulated under the National Civil Registration Authority (2016), section 67 gives the Authority the mandate to make such regulations.

Other official fees involved in the birth registration process No
Requirements or fees specific to children who are eligible for citizenship but were born outside the country Yes, children can be registered within the first 60 days upon arrival if the parents are Sierra Leonean. Parents should also show intent to settle in Sierra Leone. (Births and Deaths Registration Act, 1983)
Requirements or fees specific to children whose parents are foreign nationals No
Requirements for birth registration Identification of the child’s father, Identification of the child’s mother, Birth notification, Name of the child, Place of residence of the mother and father
Information collected Regarding the child: Name, Date of birth, Sex, Weight at birth, Ethnicity, Date of registration, Place of occurrence, Place of registration, Type of birth (single, twin, triplet and so forth), Type of place of occurrence (hospital, home, etc.), Attendant at birth

Regarding the mother of the child: Date of birth or age, Marital status, Ethnicity, Educational attainment, Place of usual residence, Number of children born alive to the mother during her entire lifetime

Regarding the father of the child: Date of birth or age, Ethnicity, Place of usual residence

Miscellaneous: Name and address of information if not mother or father, Proof of occurrence of event

Processing  (Manually (on paper)
Place of registration Hospital/health centre, District Registrar’s office, Place of occurrence of the birth
A birth certificate is required for: Identification, Travel, Education, Voting, Health care, Inheritance, Obtaining social assistance
Process for establishing vital statistics on births The National Births and Deaths Office produces annual statistical reports from data collected and recorded manually; once it becomes fully operational, the National Civil Registration Authority will digitize birth registration.

 

Data sources: Information on civil registration systems was compiled over a period from December 2016 to November 2017 using the existing relevant legal frameworks and in consultation with CRVS experts, officials within the relevant national institutions, and UNICEF country offices. All reasonable precautions have been taken by UNICEF to verify this country profile; updates will be made to reflect changes in policy and implementation and/or new information.

 

Legal framework for marriage registration Registration of Customary Marriage and Divorce Act, 2009;

Christian Marriage Act;

Muslim Marriage Act;

Mohammedan Marriages Act;

Civil Marriage Act;

Official authorities in charge of registering a marriage Office of Administrator and Registrar General (OARG)
Organizational structure Centralized
Legal age for marriage 18 years for both sexes

Exemption: 16 years for males and females with consent from parents or administration

Is there a legal obligation to register marriages? Yes
Is an official marriage certificate issued as a result of marriage registration?  Yes, not immediately
Legal informant to register a marriage The spouses
Time allowed for registration 6 months
Fee for marriage registration No
Can the fee be increased or waived? Yes, depending on the local council
Fee for marriage certificate Yes
Penalty for late registration No
Other official fees involved in the marriage registration process No
Additional registration requirements or fees if one spouse was born outside the country or has dual citizenship No
Requirements for marriage registration Presence of spouses at registration, Proof of age of the spouses
Information collected Regarding the spouses: Date of birth or age of bride, Place of usual residence of bride, Date of birth or age of groom, Place of usual residence of groom, Marital status of groom and bride

Regarding the marriage: Date of occurrence, Date of registration, Place of occurrence, Place of registration

Processing (Manually (on paper)
Place of registration Civil registrar’s office, Church, Mosque, Residence, Place of occurrence of marriage
A marriage certificate is required for:
Process for establishing vital statistics on marriage No statistics are available on marriages.

 

Data sources: Information on civil registration systems was compiled over a period from December 2016 to November 2017 using the existing relevant legal frameworks and in consultation with CRVS experts, officials within the relevant national institutions, and UNICEF country offices. All reasonable precautions have been taken by UNICEF to verify this country profile; updates will be made to reflect changes in policy and implementation and/or new information.

 

Legal framework for death registration Births and Deaths Act, 1983 (repealed as of 30 June 2016, but still currently applied)

National Civil Registration Act, 2016

Official authorities in charge of registering a death National Office of Births and Deaths within the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (until the new structure, the National Civil Registration Authority, begins operations)
Organizational structure Centralized
Is there a legal obligation to register deaths? Yes
Is an official death certificate issued as a result of death registration?  Yes, immediately
Legal informant to register a death Next of kin, Landlord, Police, Prison official, Health worker, Head of workplace, Village head
Time allowed for registration 14 days, according to repealed Births and Deaths Registration Act (1983); the new law allows for 3 months
Fee for death registration No
Can the fee be increased or waived? No
Fee for death certificate No
Penalty for late registration Yes, after 14 days; the penalty is increased after one month
Other official fees involved in the death registration process No
Registration requirements or fees specific for the deaths of people who were residents in the country and also of foreign nationality Yes, fees and the medical certificate of cause of death are required
Requirements for death registration Medical death certificate, Identification card, Date of death, Age at death
Information collected Regarding the deceased: Name, , Sex, Date of birth or age, Ethnicity, Marital status, Place of usual residence

Regarding the death: Date of death, Date of registration, Place of occurrence, Place of registration, Type of place of occurrence (hospital, home, etc.), Cause of death, Certifier

Information collected in case of fetal death Date of occurrence of fetal delivery, Place of occurrence, Type of place of occurrence (hospital, home, etc.), Date of registration, Place of registration, Sex of the fetus, Date of birth or age of the mother, Place of usual residence of the mother and father
Processing (Manually (on paper)
Place of registration Civil registrar’s office, Mayor’s office, Other district or local authority, Place of occurrence of the death
A death certificate is required for: Burial, Inheritance, Obtaining social assistance
Process for establishing vital statistics on deaths National Office of Births and Deaths publishes deaths statistics annually.

 

Data sources: Information on civil registration systems was compiled over a period from December 2016 to November 2017 using the existing relevant legal frameworks and in consultation with CRVS experts, officials within the relevant national institutions, and UNICEF country offices. All reasonable precautions have been taken by UNICEF to verify this country profile; updates will be made to reflect changes in policy and implementation and/or new information.

 

MICS

Since its inception in 1995, the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys, known as MICS, has become the largest source of statistically sound and internationally comparable data on women and children worldwide. In countries as diverse as Costa Rica, Mali and Qatar, trained fieldwork teams conduct face-to-face interviews with household members on a variety of topics – focusing mainly on those issues that directly affect the lives of children and women.