50 million children unregistered

The figures were confirmed by Ellen Mouravieff-Apostol, the spokesperson for the Committee of Non-Governmental Organisations working with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

These children, deprived of rights due to the fact that they were never registered, do not officially enter the statistics of the country where they were born, which means that they are not eligible for civil protection services. They often fall victims to those who prey on the defenceless, such as the organisers of prostitution rings.

Some areas are more affected than others, the incidence of unregistered children being much higher in the southern hemisphere. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 71% of the children are never registered. UNICEF co-ordinator in Uganda, Kori Egge, declared that in this country, 90% of the population do not have an official status.

In northern Uganda, 10,000 adolescents have been kidnapped by rebels who force them to become soldiers or turn them into sexual objects.

Even in industrialised countries, the figure for unregistered children is estimated at 2%, often taking place among families of illegal immigrants.