Undocumented marriages, non-declared births, and parental negligence are the main reasons behind children with “no identity.”
Rabat – The number of undocumented children in Morocco reached 91,747 by the end of 2018. Morocco’s Human Rights Minister Mustapha Ramid presented the number to the House of Representatives in a parliamentary session.
Undocumented children do not have a proof of identity and cannot benefit from basic rights such as education. The main reasons behind this issue are undocumented marriages, non-declared births, or simply parental negligence, the minister explained.
Ramid’s report stated that the region of Rabat-Sale-Kenitra has 28,346 undocumented children, the highest regional number in Morocco. The regions of Fes-Meknes and Marrakech-Safi have the second and third highest numbers at 15,510 and 14,085 cases respectively.
In 2018, the Moroccan government launched two national campaigns to urge parents to register their children in the social records.
According to the report, around 70,000 children became documented thanks to the campaigns.
Ramid added that children are not the only category that suffer from this issue. The campaigns led to the registration of 9,370 previously-undocumented adults. Women constitute around 75% of the number.
In October 2019, the Ministry of Interior instructed all Moroccan administrations to facilitate the registration of children born from undocumented marriages.
Article 16 of the Family Code considers the marriage certificate as the only legal and official proof of marriage. Couples without a marriage certificate face administrative obstacles when trying to register their children in civil records.
The new instructions from the government aim to simplify the parental recognition procedures in order to reduce problems related to child registration.