from ALEXIS DOUMBIA in Abidjan, Ivory Coast
Ivory Coast Bureau
ABIDJAN, (CAJ News) – THE United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is making the most of the popularity of football to raise awareness on birth registration in Ivory Coast.
Held under the aegis of the “No Name/Mon Nom est Personne” the campaign comes as the country prepares to host the Africa Cup of Nations, to be held early next year.
Sébastien Haller, striker of the national football team, is the face of this campaign that aims to highlight the importance of every child’s fundamental right to a legal identity.
“I am firmly committed to this fight which restores children’s dignity,” said the German-based striker.
The 29-year-old said birth registration is the first act paving the way for fundamental rights such as health, education and protection against all forms of abuse and exploitation.
“It is a chance for me to take on this new challenge for the benefit of children living in Ivory Coast beyond professional and personal challenges. For each child, a legal identity.”
In 2022, the Borussia Dortmund striker was diagnosed with testicular cancer, which he overcame, returning to the game in 2023.
A football tournament is to be organised for children aged 12 to 16 in 12 locations across the West African country to raise community awareness of the need to get involved in this cause in order to guarantee a healthy and protective environment for children living in Ivory Coast.
UNICEF works in synergy with the Ministry of the Interior and Security on challenges related to civil status and birth registration.
It collaborates with the Ministry of Justice to ensure control of civil status services and archives.
The Ministry of Health is an important partner in the establishment and operationalization of new registration mechanisms in maternity wards (1 562) and vaccination centers (2 400) throughout the country.
“We are proud to count on the support of Sébastien Haller, the famous international footballer, as the face of the campaign,” Mariana Stirbu Deputy Representative of UNICEF, said.
– CAJ News