Harmonisation of the National Laws with the Convention on the Rights of the Child: Some Observations and Suggestions

Theme:
  • Harmonisation of Laws
Pages: 21
Year of Publication: 2007
Country: Africa

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) has been ratified by 193 states. Ratification requires states to undertake all appropriate legislative, administrative and other measures to implement children’s rights as recognised in the CRC (Article 4). Many state parties start the process of implementation by taking legislative measures to harmonise existing laws with the principles and provisions of the CRC.

Due to the lack of systematic surveys, there is very little comparative information on the harmonisation efforts of state parties to the CRC. In this regard, The African Child Policy Forum (ACPF)’s initiative in carrying out a study on the harmonisation of laws on children in Eastern and Southern Africa is most welcome. The study covers nineteen countries that have all ratified the CRC and provides valuable information on the legislative measures taken by these countries for the implementation of the CRC, as requested in Article 4. It shows the progress made, as well as identifying the difficulties encountered and the remaining challenges.

The report contains various recommendations and identifies some specific issues that need immediate attention. It is therefore an excellent starting point for further legislative action in the Eastern and Southern Africa region. This document will focus on the practical aspects of harmonisation of national laws with the CRC, and the question of how harmonisation can be best carried out. It will also provide examples of substantive efforts from the region to harmonise national laws with the CRC, after starting with some more general observations, in particular related to the views of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC Committee).

Language: English
Published by: ACPF
Author: Jaap E. Doek
Located in: Publications
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