Goal 16. Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies

Birth registration is a first step towards safeguarding individual rights and providing every person with access to justice and social services. While many regions have reached universal or near universal birth registration, globally the average is just 71 per cent, on the basis of available country data reported from 2010 to 2016. 1

In 2016, 438,821 people were registered as stateless only in Thailand according to the UNHCR.2 Combining the unregistered, it is expected that more people live without basic rights, such as education, health care, and protection due to their statelessness. MTC identified this issue is imperative to tackle to improve the lives of the populations that Mae Tao Clinic serves in our role as a health service provider, training facility for health workers working in ethnic areas of Burma and as an advocate for child protection.

Within the Child Welfare Programme, Birth Registration continues to provide delivery certificates to babies delivered at MTC. Of the 2,341 live births at MTC in 2016, 2,195 received birth certificates from the Thai authorities within 15 days of birth. Since 2015 Thailand Health and Education department allows migrant children to access health insurance and educational support if the child has received a birth certificate.

The area of Eastern Burma is under different forms of administration. Some areas are solely under the Ethnic Health Departments while some are under the government. Some are in a mixed zone. In order for area health service delivery to be achieved MTC has been working with the different administrations. MTC also negotiates with various stakeholders to refer some of our patients to secondary and tertiary referral hospitals which are government controlled. As Eastern Burma is now designated as a post conflict area it is important to hold a series of workshops between the Burmese government and the EHOs and CBOs to find common ground, especially to discuss referral options and policies and standardized treatments. MTC in collaboration with 7 EHOs has been facilitating the workshops.

SDGs Targets Supported by Mae Tao Clinic

  • Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels.
  • Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels.
  • By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration.


  1. Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdg16
  2. UNHCR, Overcoming statelessness in Thailand one case at a time, http://www.unhcr.org/news/latest/2016/11/5836af624/overcoming-statelessness-thailand-case-time.html