Utilization of African Culture in the Implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: A Case Study of Kenya.

68 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2015 Last revised: 10 Nov 2016

See all articles by David Ngira

David Ngira

Utrecht University, School of Law

Date Written: October 12, 2015

Abstract

The Adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in 1989 was heralded as a remarkable achievement in child rights advocacy. Amid renewed optimism, it was seen as the ultimate solution to the challenges facing children. However, twenty four years after its adoption, the situation of children especially children in sub-Saharan Africa, is still deplorable. With a focus on Kenya, this study examines the implication of the current top down approaches to the realization of children rights as enshrined in the CRC. Noting that the current top down legal approach has failed, the study advocates for a bottom up, culturally driven approach in handling the challenges facing children in Kenya. As a foundation, the study engages in theoretical discussions on the moral justification of children's rights and concludes by noting that children need the rights for their holistic development into adulthood. Similarly, in determining the conception of childhood, the study castigates the current approach that focuses on age and advocates for an approach that considers childhood and adulthood on the basis of mentally capacity and competence.

Focusing on the right to education, health, livelihood and freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment, the study examines how stakeholders are using various local mechanisms to improve the situation of children and how this is has complemented government-led initiatives in Kenya .It concludes by urging stakeholders to engage with cultural gatekeepers to develop intergrated approaches that would hasten the full realization of children rights in line with CRC.

Keywords: Children, Children Rights, Female Genital Mutilation, African Culture, human rights.

Suggested Citation

Ngira, David, Utilization of African Culture in the Implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: A Case Study of Kenya. (October 12, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2672808 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2672808

David Ngira (Contact Author)

Utrecht University, School of Law ( email )

Utrecht
Netherlands

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