African Charter on the Rights & Welfare of the Child

The African Charter on The Rights and Welfare of the Child is a treaty that lays out the role and obligations of countries, parents and caregivers in promoting the wellbeing of Africa’s children. The Treaty was signed on July 1990 and entered into force in November 1999.

The Articles of the Charter cover the key issues relating to children including

• The Definition of a child

• Non-discrimination of children on the basis of race, ethnic group, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national and social origin, fortune, birth or other status

• Best interests of the child as a primary consideration in actions concerning the child • Survival and development

• Right to Name and nationality

• Freedom of expression, association thought, conscience and religion

• Protection of privacy

• Right to Education, Leisure, recreation and cultural activities

• Rights of handicapped children • Right to access to health and health services

• Right to protection from all forms of economic exploitation and hazardous work as relates Child labour

• Protection against child abuse and torture

• Protection of fundamental rights in the Administration of juvenile justice

• Protection of the family and right to Parental care, protection and parent undertaking their parental responsibilities

• Protection against harmful social and cultural practice

• Protection in armed conflicts • Rights of refugee children

• Best interest of the child is applied in Adoption

• Protection and assistance in the case of Separation from parents

• Protection against apartheid and discrimination

• Protection from sexual exploitation

• Protecting the child from the use of narcotics and illicit use of psychotropic substances / Drug abuse • Prevention and Protection from sale, trafficking and abduction

• Rights of children of imprisoned mothers

• Responsibilities of the child The main African Union institution responsible for the implementation of the Charter as well as formulating rules aimed at protecting rights of the child is the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) https://www.acerwc.africa/en