UNICEF ambassador Angélique Kidjo recently visited her home country of Benin to advocate for improvements to the birth registration system.

Many children in Benin are denied the right to a legal identity, excluding them from basic services and leaving them open to exploitation and abuse.

“Each child deserves a birth certificate that will pave the way for his education, for a brighter future, and protect him against child trafficking,” she said. “When a child does not have a birth certificate, his future is jeopardized. He is like a ghost. Our responsibility as parents, caregivers and states is to make sure that each child has a right to legal identity.”

“Many bottlenecks still affect the birth registration process,” added Anne Vincent, UNICEF Representative in Benin. “We should therefore work hand-in-hand with the Government to improve the birth registration system. And UNICEF will support a national campaign to make sure that each family is aware of the importance of the birth certificate.”

To read a full account of Kidjo’s visit, click here.

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