African legislative framework tasked with children’s rights

Last week, a researcher at the Community Law Centre’s Children’s Rights Project, Dr Aquinaldo Mandlate delivered an expert paper on the protection of children’s rights in the African regional system. The paper focused on the normative framework and the institutional mechanisms to advance children’s rights in Africa. It was presented during a children’s rights seminar hosted by the Law Faculty at the Universidade Agostinho Neto in Luanda, Angola.

Mandlate’s presentation also touched on domestic norms and institutions tasked with the protection of children’s rights. He mentioned that among other countries, Angola ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the regional equivalent treaty, the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, which place stringent obligation on state parties to advance children’s rights. In his view the adoption of the Children’s Statute, also known as Lei de Base de Protecção e Desenvolvimento Integral da Criança, represents a significant milestone towards domestication of international standards in Angola.

Mandlate observed further that despite the above progresses, there are many challenges hindering the advancement of the rights of children in Angola. To this end, the local media cited Dr Mandlate on his contribution raising awareness on the need for government to improve some of the barriers for children’s rights including difficulties around birth registration, poor educational and health services for children, and lack of regulations to foster the implementation of the Children’s Act.

The presentation was well received in an event that hosted among delegates from the Department of Justice, officers from the Department of Assistance and Social Integration, representatives of the Angolan academic community, members of civil society organisations and policy makers. Delegates from the partner organisation which facilitated the event, the Norwegian ILPI, were also present.

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