Studies, Reviews and Research

An exploratory study on the interplay between African customary law and practices and children’s protection rights. Focus on South Africa and Zambia

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Save the Children Sweden

A study commissioned by Save the Children Sweden, which explores to what extent in South Africa and Zambia, customary, cultural and religious practices impact on children’s rights and how a lack of understanding of African Customary Law makes it difficult to distinguish which practices protect children and which heighten their vulnerability. This study focuses on the interplay between African custom and the following protection domains: Customary upbringing and parenting practices and protection mechanisms available to children in communities; Gender sensitive practices and attitudes, including practices related to the transition of children into adulthood; Children’s health, including their sexual health and wellbeing; Criminal offences by and against children; Status of children; and the participation of children. The recommendations of this study embody a number of suggestions as to how, through advocacy, stakeholders in child protection can support, facilitate and expedite the process of change in certain traditional practices in both countries.

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