TN 31 (08-05)

GN 00307.933 Evidence From Yemen

A. Background

In May 1990, the Republic of Yemen was formed by the union of the Yemen Arab Republic (North Yemen) and the People's Republic of Yemen (Southern Yemen).

As a practical matter, documentary evidence of vital statistics events rarely exists in Yemen. Almost all evidence is based on statements by third parties and made years after the event occurred.

A Department of Registration and Civil Affairs was established in 1982 in what was then North Yemen for the registration of vital statistics events but registration is not compulsory nor is there a time limit for registration. There are no strictly enforced regulations for the maintenance and protection of any such records. Thus far, only birth certificates and identity cards have been issued.

A few records exist in Aden (as the result of the British rule) for events after 1961 for the few persons who registered events.

The lack of evidence in Yemen does not preclude establishing a claimant's entitlement to benefits.

B. Kinds of Evidence

The following evidence may be submitted from Yemen:

1. Statements from Claimants and Third Parties

In evaluating these statements, remember these areas are tribal societies and the first loyalty is to the tribe or village. Almost everyone who knows the claimant is a relative or close personal friend.

Village people, particularly those who have never left these countries, have little concept of time or age. Thus, requests for explanations of discrepancies in file are of little use.

2. Sharia Court Certificates

These are usually based on the statements of third parties—not court records as they appear to be.

However, marriage contracts are registered with a judge of the local Sharia court and dated. A copy is given to the couple and the local Sharia register is annotated. Copies may be available if the couple does not have their's. The document (and the printed form sometimes used now) does not call for ages or DBs.

3. Birth Certificates

Generally, these are based on statements by the interested parties in a Sharia Court.

They may be issued either by the Ministry of Health or the Department of Registration and Civil Affairs. There is no central registry for those records which do exist and are registered with one of these offices. If a hospital issues a birth certificate, it is usually because it is acting as an agent for the Ministry of Health not because the child was born in that hospital.

The lack of central control and strictly enforced regulations on the maintenance and protection of vital statistics records makes it unlikely that an office which issued a certificate could issue another one.

4. Identity Cards

Identity cards are easily obtained. Generally, when young men reach age 16 or 17, they apply for these cards. However, the fact that a young man does not have an identity card does not necessarily mean that he is under age 17.

5. Hospital Records

For the few children born in hospitals or clinics, the parents may have a hospital or clinic record. However, even where a birth occurred in a hospital or clinic, the records are obtained only with a great deal of difficulty and expense. Doctors often charge large fees to issue statements of birth.

Where a death occurred in a hospital or clinic, the record can be obtained only with difficulty.

6. School Records

School attendance is rising although mostly for boys. Not all school records show a child's age or DB. If the school is not in a major town, lack of mail and telephone facilities make it difficult to get information from its records.

7. National Census Records

A national census was taken in 1985 or 1986. Age was asked but it is doubtful that information can be obtained from these records.

NOTE: This source is discussed in the event a certificate from it is submitted by the claimant or FSP, but not as a source to be explored in every case.

C. Policy

SSA does not make any assumptions about the recordation dates of evidence from Yemen. SSA assumes the evidence in items 1-5 of GN 00307.933B. was based on statements by interested parties at or near the time of issuance.


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