Spotlighting the Invisible

Continental Conference on Access to Justice for Children in Africa
Addis Ababa | 8-10 May 2018 | #ChildJusticeAfrica


Child-friendly Laws in Africa

Child-friendly Laws in Africa

At the heart of this report is the concept of measurement of the child-friendliness of laws and policies. these days, in development theory and programme implementation, such measurement frequently involves the development of indicators as tools to guide compliance, progress or delivery. where possible, for practical and logical reasons, this report builds on existing indicators, or best practices that have been identified by others. however, in addition, a non-finite series of guiding themes were developed for the purposes of this report in order to guide assessment and selection of promising examples/practices for description, and these depar t from the conventional. the authors believe that these themes provide rationale and justification for citing specific examples as good, replicable or promising practices.

This report has identified eight main areas for the discussion of indicators of good practice relating to children’s rights in Africa.  These are as follows:

  1. The Africanisation of child laws
  2. Child protection
  4. The right to education
  5. Consultative processes that involve children
  6. Models of dispute resolution affecting children
  7. Specialised services for children
  8. Coordinating and monitoring mechanisms of the implementation of children’s rights at the domestic level.

In selecting these themes, the authors were confronted with a plethora of potential topics. for instance, the heading ‘child protection’ throws up such diverse and complex issues as assistance to child victims, sexual abuse of children, violence against children in public and private settings, displaced, refugee and migrant

children, trafficking, child soldiers, and so on – any one of which could, on its own, form the substance of a dedicated paper of equivalent size.

The authors have been deliberately selective and focussed on areas of legal endeavour which are:

  1. Showing promising signs of development for the African continent – such as implementation of the right to education, a key deliverable for the Millennium Development Goals
  2. Raising particular concerns in the African context – such as HIV/AIDS, the effects of which are especially deleterious for sub-Saharan Africa.


25 February 2018





Martin Atkin
Communications Consultant
Tel: +44(0)779 544 3607


Nkatha Murungi PhD
Head, Children and the Law Programme, ACPF
Tel: +251 11 662 8192/96/97/99

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