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Registration and RecognitionDocumenting the Person in World History$
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Keith Breckenridge and Simon Szreter

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265314

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265314.001.0001

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Uruguay’s Child Rights Approach to Health: What Role for Civil Registration?

Uruguay’s Child Rights Approach to Health: What Role for Civil Registration?

(p.415) 16 Uruguay’s Child Rights Approach to Health: What Role for Civil Registration?
Registration and Recognition

Anne-Emanuelle Birn

British Academy

In 1934 the Uruguayan legislature passed a ‘Children's Code’, perhaps the first national code explicitly to stipulate that ‘every child has a right to know who are his parents’. This chapter explores the historical context for Uruguay's Children's Code, showing how the late nineteenth-century establishment of civil registration was intertwined with child health monitoring and corresponding public policies and institutions as part of a burgeoning welfare state. It draws out the interaction of these domestic approaches with international debates and practices, demonstrating the role played in these developments by Uruguayan public health's established international reputation, recognized by the League of Nations as the leading Latin American advocate of infant and child health improvement. It also examines how the innovative 1934 code and its associated identity registration features were implemented domestically as an integral part of a fully functioning government child welfare programme, and how Uruguay's approach was diffused internationally.

Keywords:   Uruguay, Children's Code, child rights, child health, civil registration, child welfare, welfare state, Latin America, League of Nations

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