The protection of children’s rights
under international law from a
Oliver C Ruppel
I dedicate this article to all the children under the Namibian sun and stars and in particular to my lovely children Franziska Freyja Nicolette and Sophia Emma Antoinette Mandisa
International provisions relating to the protection of children’s rights exist within various legal systems. For the purpose of this chapter, these legal systems are subdivided into three levels, namely global, regional and sub-regional. Before turning to the protection of children’s rights within these levels, however, the paper briefly introduces the application of international law in Namibia.
The focus within the protection of children’s rights on a global level will be on the legal framework of the United Nations (UN). Being a member of the UN since 1990, Namibia is party to many UN Conventions and has shown a strong commitment towards the protection of children’s rights. Although the UN legal framework offers broad protection of children’s rights, legal instruments by other global institutions also play a key role in the field of children’s rights in Namibia, and will therefore be outlined accordingly. Besides the global level, children’s rights are also laid down on the regional and subregional level. In this context, the systems to be discussed from a Namibian perspective are those of the African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
The application of international law in Namibia
There is no task more important than building a world in which all of our children can grow up to realize their full potential, in health, peace and dignity.1
International law has developed rapidly over the past few decades, especially since the dawn of the UN, when rules and norms regulating activities carried on outside the legal boundaries of nations were developed. Numerous international agreements – bilateral, regional or multilateral in nature – have been concluded and international customary rules, as evidence of a general practice accepted as law, have been established. But how 1
Children’s rights in Namibia
do these sources of international law apply domestically? In this regard, two approaches can generally be followed.2 The first, the monist approach, assumes that international laws are automatically incorporated into domestic law; the second, the dualist approach, follows the rule that international laws are not automatically incorporated into domestic law and are said to require an act of legal transformation into domestic law. In Namibia, Article 144 of its Constitution explicitly incorporates international law and makes it part of the law of the land. Thus, public international law is part of the law of Namibia: it needs no transformation or subsequent legislative act to become so.3 However, as the Constitution is the supreme law of Namibia, international law has to be in conformity with the provisions of the Constitution in order to apply domestically. Where a treaty provision or other rule of international law is inconsistent with the Namibian Constitution, the latter will prevail.4
Article 144 also mentions two sources of international law that apply in Namibia: general rules of public international law, and international agreements binding upon Namibia. General rules of public international law include rules of customary international law supported and accepted by a representatively large number of states. The notion of international agreement primarily refers to treaty in the traditional sense, i.e. international agreements concluded between states in written form and governed by international law,5 but it also includes conventions, protocols, covenants, charters, statutes, acts, declarations, concords, exchanges of notes, agreed minutes, memoranda of understanding, and agreements.6 Notably, not only agreements between states, but also those with the...
...profitable media outlets and national past-times? You might ask which media outlet I’m talking about and that is comic books. Comic books have always received flak when it came to how influential they are to children, with scenes of graphic violence, criminal acts of mischief, and over-bearing sexual exploits. Many parents, schools, and communities have also noticed some of the crazy things that go on in comic books and have banded together to try and ban them because they are in fear that these comic books are poisoning our children’s minds to make them believe that committing criminal acts of robbery, sexual violence, and murder is okay to do and not frowned upon in society. But these claims are very over-the-top, how could one child from a family that established the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behavior think that it is ok to do such things? How could he go from a contributing member of society to a socio-path who goes around killing and raping people? It’s just such an extreme to think that such a thing could happen. Most kids, at least the ones that I know, understand that comic books aren’t real and that you can’t go around like the Joker in Batman and unleash your evil will on Gotham City. To me, I believe that comic books aren’t the main factor of children acting in a juvenile manner because you cannot blame delinquency on one problem itself. I believe delinquency starts with how well the parent taught their kid, how...
...Responsible for the Crimes of their Children
How can someone who does not commit a crime get charged for the crime committed. This is starting to happen around the country with parents getting charged for the crimes of their children. Although parents are responsible for raising and teaching their children what is right or wrong, parents should not be held responsible for the crimes of their children because they did not commit the crime and if they are not present at the crime scene, how can they stop their child from committing such an act. It violates a parent’s constitutional rights to charge them with the crime, and doesn’t serve as a deterrent to juvenile crime. Children that come from great homes and have great parents still commit crimes which can’t be stopped by their parents. Unless the crime committed by the juvenile is because of abuse or neglect than the parent should be held responsible.
Throughout all time there has been delinquency. It may not have had the delinquency label, but it still existed. In Old England around 1600’s children at the age of seven were tried, convicted, and punished as adults. They received no special treatment. Juvenile crime is mentioned as far back as ancient Samaria, where laws concerning juvenile offenders first appeared in written form. It wasn’t until the 1900’s when juvenile crime became a big...
...ignore the existence of young offenders who are female. Most of the professional literature on juvenile delinquency is similarly slanted.
Should minors who commit crimes be prosecuted as adults? That is indeed a topic you have to really think about twice. All crimes committed by juveniles should and must be treated in the same regard as adults. These kids go to juvenile court and get shortened sentences because of their age, thats not right. They commit big boy crimes, they have to do big boy time.
When you think of the word “Juvenile” what’s the first thing you think about? The first thing that comes to my mind is crime simply because when i hear the word juvenile, its usually followed by delinquent. Until the early 19th century in the United States, children as young as 7 years old could be tried in criminal court and, if found guilty, sentenced to prison or even to death. Children under the age of 7 were thought to be unable to commit criminal acts and were therefore exempt from punishment. Reformers believed that treating children and adolescents as adult criminals was unnecessarily harsh and resulted in their corruption.
A 1991 study by Virginia's Department of Youth and Family Services, entitled "Young Women in the Juvenile System," concluded that girls serve more time in training schools than their male counterparts, and for less serious offenses. The same pattern prevails in most other...
SHC 33: Promote equality and inclusion in health, social care or childrens and young peoples setting.
1.1) Diversity- Diversity mean difference, it recognises that even though people have things in common with each other they are also unique and different. Everyone is unique and different for example; skin colour, race, disability, gender and religion.
Equality- Equality mean treating everyone equally in a way that is appropriate for their needs.
Inclusion- Inclusion means including everyone to equal opportunities whatever their age, gender, ethnicity and background.
1.2) Potential effects can be different for people. The effects can be physical or emotional and sometimes both;
Feeling isolated, Low self esteem, Depression, Fear of rejection, Stress, Low self worth, Feeling withdrawn from society, Humiliation, Weight loss/ gain, Fear, Anger
1.3) Discrimination and prejudice interfere with;
Childrensright to have access to equality or opportunity.
Promoting the positive aspects of diversity.
Inclusion requires us to appreciate the barriers. To all children and families participating in and benefiting the equalty and inclusion in the enviroment.
2.1) All settings should have policies that take into account on an everyday routine. By taking policies into account this legislationand guide the way you and your colleagues ensure that...
...Violence: Children Who Own The Streets
There are many problems facing today's society. One of the problems is
the violent condition that surrounds the lives of children in America. We are
awarded of the violence among our juveniles because we read, hear and see it.
The newspapers, magazines, news media, and our neighborhoods testify the living
proof of the chaos. Everyone tries to find explanations of the causes and
consequences of street violence and other aspects of the turbulent lives of
young people. Yet, the problem facing our juveniles will not be solved over
night. But that's not a reason enough to ignore the problem. It will only
make matters worse and keep on doubling through the years. It is our duty as
citizens, friends and family to start trying to make that difference. It is
frustrating to know that violence among the children of America is increasing in
many aspects. The crimes are starting to vary. It's not like in the past,
where kids only stole candies or disobeyed curfew laws. Now children steal,
murder, rape and use drugs. This is not the America that we knew, this is a
battle. What can we do to influence these kids to stay off trouble? First of
all, we have to realize this is a very serious problems. And it has to be
stopped. The second step is to figure out what causes children to be violent
and become juvenile delinquents. This negative attitude causes them to...
...mechanisms and provision, institutions and bodies specifically applicable to juvenile offenders” . On the other hand, the term ‘children in conflict with the law’ refers to “anyone under 18 who comes into contact with the justice system as a result of being suspected or accused of committing an offence” .
In 2004, after considering Botswana’s Initial Report, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child indicated under paragraph 60 of the Concluding Observations that while recognizing the efforts made by the State party in the juvenile justice domain, including the establishment of the New School of Industry in 2002 for children in conflict with the law, the Committee was concerned that the juvenile system was not yet compatible with the provisions and principles of the Convention.
This article discusses juvenile justice issues drawn from a Mapping and Analysis of the Justice for Children in Botswana which was commissioned by the Department of Social Services and supported by UNICEF in 2010. The study used largely qualitative research methods which included in-depth interviews with 40 key stakeholders in the area of child protection in Botswana and interviews with key informants.
There is an absence of administrative, regulatory and human resource infrastructure to implement the laws for the protection of children’s rights and well-being. The lack of access to justice,...
Crime-free Children Today
Crime-free India Tomorrow
Author: Yamuna Bindu
School: Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Kolazhy, Thrissur.
Class: XI C
CRIMEFREE CHILDREN TODAY FOR A CRIMEFREE INDIA TOMORROW
“Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression.”
Dr. Hiam Ginnot
Open a newspaper or switch on the radio for news and you will no doubt see a number of horrifying crimes reported there - murder, rape and robberies are no longer surprising or shocking news to the Indian citizens. But what can shock us is the fact that most, at least a third, of the crimes committed in a year are by youngsters below the age of 18. Juvenile delinquency is increasing rapidly.
A large part of the world’s children are in India. Children are often perceived as the epitome of innocence and naiveté by most people. But the phrase “child-like innocence” can no longer be used, because the adolescents are one of the most violent age categories in the world. There are many incidences of crimes committed by the adolescents these days. The number of juvenile court cases are increasing and the crimes become more horrifying by the minute. There are increasing evidences of road rages, crimes against women, violence in school etc. all committed by teenagers.
Parents and others involved in a child’s life are equally responsible for the child’s hostile behavior. The amount of violence in the...
...Outcome 1 Promote equality and diversity in work with children and young people
1.1 Current legislation and codes of practice
Every Child Matters 2003 and Children Act 2004
These were put into place to ensure that all organisations and agencies involved with children between birth and 19 years should work together ensure that children have the support needed to be healthy, stay safe, enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution and ahieve economic well-being.
The key aspect of the Act was to overhaul child protection and chilren’s services in the UK. Every Child Matters has been futher developed through the publication of the Children’s Plan 2007 which sets out to improve educational outcomes for all children.
Race Relations Act 1976 and 2000
This places a statutory duty on schools to promote race equality. It makes it against the law for a person to be discriminated against, whether directly or indirectly. Schools are expected to improve the educational achievements of all children and to promote equal opportunities and good relations between different racial groups. Schools are also required to have a race equality policy which is linked to an action plan.
Disability Discrimintaion Act 1995 and 2005
This made it illegal for services (shops and employers) to discriminate against disabled people. According to this Act, a person has a disability if ‘he /or she/ has a...