Ghost Children | A new award for Roeselare-Dogbo birth registration scheme!

6 julio 2021

The Ghost Children Fight” was awarded best feature-length documentary at Amnesty international France’s film festival “At the cinema for human rights”. 10 other feature-length documentaries were in the selection. This 52-minute movie highlights the cooperation partnership on birth registration led by Roeselare (Belgium) and Dogbo (Benin) which was awarded the first Prize at the PLATFORMAwards initiative in 2018.

Following the film shooting and the production of a 20-minute version for the winning cities, the film’s producer Jean Crousillac decided to launch a crowdfunding campaign and go for a 52-minute documentary. The movie was screened online during the European Days of Local Solidarity (EDLS) coordinated by PLATFORMA in Autumn 2020. Two online film projections were also organised during Amnesty international France’s film festival, as well as a screening in a secondary school in Nice, followed by debates with the producer, in May 2021.

The level of the selection was very high. Some of the 10 feature-length documentaries were already awarded several times and one was even selected at Cannes film festival last year.

“My aim is now to make the film available to everyone online to help the global fight against ghost children and provide a better future for millions of children”, said Jean Crousillac.

“Congratulation for this great award which also pays tribute to the work of municipalities, mayors and local public services and to decentralised cooperation”, tweeted Frédéric Vallier, CEMR Secretary General, after the announcement of the results.


In the world, no less than 240 million children don’t exist. Lacking birth certificates, these “ghost children” have neither legal existence nor any rights. The cooperation partnership on birth registration led by Roeselare (Belgium) and Dogbo (Benin) has become a model in the region with 100% of babies registered. Providing a legal identity for all including free birth registrations by 2030 is one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) 169 targets (SDG 16.9).

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