The African children’s charter @ 30: A distinction without a difference?
Mezmur, Benyam Dawit
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I would like to start with three recent concerning developments on children’s rights in Africa that the media has highlighted. First, in Somalia the draft Sexual Offences Bill that allowed child marriage has ruffled feathers (UN News, 11 August 2020). In Cameroon, a video of soldiers executing two mothers and their children that went viral in 2018 almost came to a full circle when a military court conducted behind closed doors convicted four soldiers to a mere ten years’ imprisonment (Human Rights Watch, 23 September 2020). In Nigeria too, the sentencing of a 13-year old boy for 10 years, ‘in a Sharia court in Kano State in Northwest Nigeria after he was accused of using foul language toward Allah in an argument with a friend’ (CNN, 16 September 2020) has drawn condemnation from organisations such as unicef