Have you ever heard the terms “ghost child” or “invisible child”? Words that are rarely used, but which, nevertheless, deserve to be known by everyone.
These “ghost children” are simply children with no legal identity, in other words they do not exist administratively. This makes them stateless and without any rights. Revolting, you may say! Wait. Having no rights, they cannot benefit from any medical services, which makes them already left to themselves, if only for something as fundamental as health. Moreover, they have no access to education, work or legal protection. At the human level, we are already on something heavy in terms of dignity! What has been described above is only the soft part, which is already quite hardcore, I grant you. Now, let your imagination work a little. Put yourself in the shoes of a lawless son of a bitch. What do you think might happen? Unknown children, who do not exist in the eyes of every administration, for whom relatives cannot declare the disappearance, because they do not exist administratively and legally speaking. And yes Bingo! For all these sons of bitches, it’s a real candy store that would be left unattended by a kid. For all human traffickers it’s an open bar, just help yourself. After all, who will be able to file a complaint for the disappearance of a person who doesn’t exist? All these children can be tortured, raped, kidnapped, prostituted, married early against their will, and even forcibly enlisted as child soldiers! Without forgetting one thing! Nothing prevents all these people from practicing organ sales, and killing all these innocent people for money and all that, I repeat, without being disturbed by justice for a single second… Source 1, 2, 3.
In short, now let’s go a little more on the known data, just to give you an idea of the scope of the subject. Currently, 166 million children under the age of five in the world were not registered at birth, and 237 million, or one third of children in this age group, did not have a birth certificate. Enormous, you might say! Well, you should know that in Africa less than half of all births are registered. To give you an example, in 2013 only 8% of children in the Democratic Republic of Congo were registered. As you have understood, Africa is the continent most affected by this tragedy. About 95 million children do not exist administratively and legally speaking. Here is a list of the African countries that are affected, which will give you an idea of the extent of the phenomenon: Cameroon, Mali, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Libya, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Somalia, Malawi, Zambia, Chad, Tanzania, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Nigeria, Benin. But Africa is not the only continent affected; Asia is second with 51 million children without identity. And, as you can imagine, it is mainly countries that are plagued by poverty that are impacted, such as Thailand, Indonesia or Bangladesh. In South Asia, one child in five is born without a certificate, and more than a third (35%) has no official existence. Source 1, 2, 3, 4.
Finally, the little icing on the cake (and I couldn’t save it in there). France, ladies and gentlemen, cock-a-doodle-doo, which is also impacted, mainly in Overseas (Guyana and Mayotte), where the data is very fuzzy (as if by chance!). Of course, and as always, France finds itself in this kind of story. And of course, a deafening silence surrounds the problem. We cannot continue to ignore the subject. Everybody should be aware of these stories and the dangers that they create. France, by virtue of its values, should speak openly about this kind of subject, and to bring it to the forefront, should protect our children, whatever the situation. And above all, we must END IT WITH THIS SILENCE.