Source: Mail & Guardian (South Africa) / Project Syndicate
A name, an official identity, and a nationality recognised by everyone: most of us take these things for granted. Yet, for nearly a quarter-billion children around the world, including tens of millions in sub-Saharan Africa, such basic rights are unattainable luxuries.
According to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef), the births of about 230-million children under the age of five — about one-third of the world’s total — have never been registered. Asia is home to 59% of these unregistered children and sub-Saharan Africa a further 37%.
All of them grow up “invisible,” even in their own country.
The problem is particularly acute in certain African countries: only 3% of children in Somalia, 4% in Liberia, and 7% in Ethiopia have official papers, for example.