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[Comment] Civil registration as a means to promote human security

Every day we see media coverage of the casualties of wars, disasters, and epidemics somewhere in the world. But nothing is more tragic than the deaths of those who have never been registered when they were born and died. Such deaths are neither reported nor recorded anywhere, as if these people had never existed. In the Lancet Counting Births and Deaths Series1–4 on civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS), Lene Mikkelsen and colleagues3 report a shocking figure: only about 40% of deaths are registered globally through CRVS systems, and there has been virtually no progress in this coverage since 2000.