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#WorldChildrensDay: more than a quarter of children under 5 are unregistered worldwide

20 November 2019

20 November is World Children’s Day. And this year is special. Thirty years ago, world leaders adopted the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. But still not every child gets to enjoy a full childhood, especially when children’s births haven’t been registered.

Did you know that the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, an international agreement on childhood, has become the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history! It has helped transform children’s lives around the world. But there is still a long way to go.

According to UNICEF Progress for Every Child in the SDG Era report, there were in 2017 no more than 72% of children under 5 years of age whose births had been registered by a civil authority. This is far from the “universal coverage” target set in SDG 16.9: to provide legal identity for all, including birth registration by 2030. More worryingly, “almost a fifth of countries – accounting for around one third of the global population of children under 5 – need to speed up progress to achieve universal birth registration by 2030” UNICEF states in its report.

The Roeselare-Dogbo birth registration partnership

This is why the cities of Roeselare (Belgium) and Dogbo (Benin) have set up in 2010 a partnership to eradicate “ghost children”. For this project, the two cities have been elected last year “best decentralised cooperation project”, by a jury of specialists from the European Union and the United Nations, under the PLATFORMAwards initiative created by PLATFORMA. The two cities birth registration scheme has now become a model for other parts of Benin, as well as other West African countries.

To reward the winners, PLATFORMA, with the co-financing of the European Union, financed the production of a series of short videos promoting the partnership. But the producer, Backpack Productions, wants to go further and launched a crowdfunding campaign to produce a 52′ documentary film. 5% of the contributions will be donated to UNICEF to carry out actions on the ground.

The #GhostChildrenFight campaign is promoted during the European Days of Local Solidarity (EDLS) launched by PLATFORMA.

2nd edition of the PLATFORMAwards

Do you also want to get visibility for your decentralised cooperation project and win the production of a video? Apply before 31 December 2019 to the 2nd edition of the PLATFORMAwards!

The awards ceremony will take place at CEMR Congress “Local Action. Global Shift. Living the Sustainable Development Goals” on 8 May 2020 in Innsbruck (Austria).