In a press release, the mayor, Lucas Owona, informed the public that the council is conducting a census of children from 91 days to 12 years of age who do not have a birth certificate with a view of providing one for them.
Parents are invited to register their children in this age group at the social and cultural service of the town hall no later than January 27. This initiative aims to curb the phenomenon of “ghost” children.
In Cameroon, 30% of births are not registered, according to the collection of statistical data of the civil status carried out in 2019 by the National Bureau of Civil Status . This is due to the ignorance of parents, the negligence of households, illiteracy and the remoteness of the civil status centre. To remedy this, many initiatives are being carried out by the government, municipalities, associations and elites to give these children a legal existence.
In April 2022, the government allocated more than 88 million CFA francs to six communes to issue birth certificates to 11,000 children. Cameroon’s efforts to remedy the situation of ghost children are in line with the national and international commitments made by the authorities to enable them to obtain citizenship, a right recognised by the Constitution and the many legal instruments ratified by the country.