101 children receive their birth certificates and become citizens of Cote d’Ivoire

20.12.16

In partnership with MMM, Aide à la Jeunesse Africaine Défavorisée (AJAD), our associate member in Cote d'Ivoire initiated the process, addressing both the population and the legal authorities in order to establish substitute birth certificates for some hundred children living in Songon, a District Administration office and suburban area of Abidjan.

The ceremony took place on 20th October 2016 (photos above and below).

101 children were thus given an official identity. Being no longer stateless, they can benefit from State services and protection. Enrolled in school from September 2016, they will be able to access further training to get qualified jobs and cater to the needs of their families.  Moreover, many destitute and isolated mothers will benefit from their children’s training and rise out of poverty. Indeed, when women are abandoned, they are left without any resources, especially when the break-up occurs in a non-marital situation.

“Although the law makes it compulsory to declare births within three months of delivery, the reality is that not all births are declared. This non-registration is, of course, a major obstacle to children’s right to identity and consequently impinges on the enjoyment of other rights such as the right to education, health and protection.” M. Éric GNAMIEN Koffi, Franciscans International

The project also plans to implement a system to follow up births in Songon and incite parents to register their children before the legal deadline. AJAD volunteers intend to work with midwives and the community leaders to this end.

The aim is to tackle the various reasons why parents do not declare the birth of their child to the Civil Registry and which are most often linked to poverty:

  • Lack of time to carry out the heavy administrative formalities because of the parents’ concern to ensure their survival
  • Loss of birth certificates or administrative documents by families
  • Parents themselves not declared at the civil registry office
  • Birth at home (parents are often unaware or forget that they have to declare the birth of their child).

MMM provided assistance with logistics, communication and fundraising for this project.

 

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