230 million children under 5 never registered

 The U.N. children

FILE- In this Feb. 3, 2010 file photo, students eat lunch at Sharon Elementary School in Sharon, Vt. Vermont ranks second in the country in an annual report of kids' well-being. The Annie E. Casey Foundation's Kids Count report released Monday shows improvements in eight areas like in the percentage of children with health insurance and fewer teen births but poverty continues to be a problem. Vermont fell slightly in the percentage of children with parents who lack secure employment to 29 percent. New Hampshire was the top-ranked state, followed by Vermont and Massachusetts. Nevada, Mississippi and New Mexico took the bottom three spots. Overall, Vermont ranked third in the country in education and family and community and fourth in health. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- The U.N. children's agency says nearly 230 million children under the age of five around the world have never had their birth registered.

A UNICEF report issued to mark its 67th birthday on Wednesday said globally that amounts to one in three children.

UNICEF Deputy Director Geeta Rao Gupta said birth registration not only acknowledges a child's identity and existence but is key "to guaranteeing that children are not forgotten, denied their rights or hidden from the progress of their nations."

UNICEF said children without identification documents are often excluded from education, health care and social security.

It cited many barriers to birth registration from parents who are unaware of its importance to cultural barriers and fear the consequences of reporting a birth, including the misuse of personal information.

AP-WF-12-11-13 0150GMT

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