Ghost children: securing the civil registration

The works carried out over the past ten years on the subject of children not declared at birth by the Association du Notariat Francophone (ANF) and the CSN have contributed to the emergence of the 2021-2027 roadmap of the Ministry for Europe and foreign affairs in this area.


With birth registration, civil status lays down the founding act of an individual's existence and is a fundamental means of granting legal identity. Worldwide, 166 million children under 5 go unregistered, two-thirds of deaths go unregistered, and more than a billion people lack proof of legal identity.

Civil registration is also an essential tool for protection against marginalization, discrimination, statelessness, exploitation and abuse. It is a lever for the socio-economic development of a country.


The French notaries have been mobilized on this issue since 2012 by carrying out many actions which raise awareness, with Parliaments in particular, and by contributing to the practical guide published by the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) to establish registers of civil status and the census. They take part in field actions in Senegal, Ivory Coast, Togo and Niger.


Me Laurent Dejoie, Honorary President of the CSN and President of the ANF is the co-author of the book “Les enfants fantômes” published in 2014; he has taken part in many international conferences and has been heard several times by the National Assembly.