More than two million children in Cameroon do not have a birth certificate, Public Health Minister Manaouda Malachie has said.
This could affect their access to basic government services, such as health and education, in the future.
The authorities have blamed the situation on a raft of factors including the conflict in Cameroon’s English-speaking regions, the attacks by Boko Haram militants in the north, illiteracy and corruption.
Parliament began meeting on Monday to find solutions.
Mr Malachie said the future of these children could be compromised.
The UN’s children’s organisation, Unicef, has highlighted how more than 40,000 children in the country’s Far North region were unable to sit their school leaving exam last year because of a lack of a birth certificate.
The government has promised to try and ease the procedures for getting a birth certificate.