On Thursday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad issued the new Civil Status Law No. 13 to replace the law issued in 2007, which included important amendments such as unifying and automating the civil registry.
The new law includes a set of amendments that will contribute to the development of civil status work in line with the automation system, improve the quality of services, simplify procedures and streamline them, through the Syria Trust for Development project.
According to the new law, the Syria Trust for Development project will adopt a single centralized electronic database that links all governorates and includes the records of all Syrians, in which their civil information/incidents are directly computerized, wherever they occur. Every Syrian person has their own national number so that confusion is avoided if two people have the same name. This database also includes information about incidents involving non-Syrians that take place on Syrian territory.
The Director of Civil Status, Ahmed Rahal, had previously explained that the project aims to provide services to citizens in their areas of residence, so there is no longer any need for any person residing outside their governorate to travel or send a request to their governorate to obtain an identity card, for example. They can now obtain it in the governorate they reside in. The identity card can be obtained within a maximum of 48 hours.
The law allows individuals to record civil status incidents in any civil registration center in Syria, while they had to record the incidents in their mother governorates in the past.
An individual can also obtain their civil registers from any civil registry center, in addition to obtaining an ID or family card, while in the past, they were obligated to go to their official registry center.
Individuals can obtain a document related to disability without the need to go to many civil registry centers.
The new law also allows adult single individuals to obtain a damaged or lost family card in the absence of their parents due to a force majeure — such as the death of the parents or divorce. In the past, this procedure used to require the presence of a legal guardian.
The process of making e-government and e-governance a reality requires a set of financial and organizational foundations and requires training human resources. One of the most important foundations is the existence of a broad legislative framework that organizes the process, whether at the level of transformation within the government or between the government and the citizen, in addition to availing the necessary infrastructure.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.