The recognition and implementation of children's socio-economic rights in Ethiopian law
Gebreamanuel, Abreham Behailu
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This research examines the current recognition and implementation of children’s socio-economic rights in Ethiopian law. Ethiopia has ratified international instruments of children’s rights, to wit, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Convention on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights as well as regional instruments such as the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and these instruments are made to be part of the Ethiopian law. However, there is neither a translation nor publication of these instruments and these facts obstruct their implementation, as the working language of domestic courts is different from the language of the instruments. Ethiopia also does not incorporate children’s socio-economic rights in its Constitution. Neither does it have separate legislation on children’s rights. Despite the commitment shown by its ratification of international children’s rights instruments, Ethiopia has not yet done anything meaningful towards the realisation of children’s socio-economic rights. Mere ratification of international instruments cannot rectify the lifelong hardship of Ethiopian children without actual implementation. Hence, this dissertation discusses the incorporation of children’s socio-economic rights in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia’s Constitution, domestication of international children’s rights instruments and the lack of a separate act outlining children’s rights in the Ethiopian legal system in order to establish why current child law in Ethiopia does not solve the suffering of Ethiopian children. The current reality with regard to children’s socio-economic rights in Ethiopia is not an insurmountable hurdle. This dissertation recommends translation into the domestic working language of Ethiopian courts and publication of international children’s rights instruments in order to ease the problem regarding awareness of the laws, as well as their status and validity. Ethiopia could enact a separate act for children’s rights, as well as enshrine the socio-economic entitlements of children in its Constitution. The South African experience is also worthy of consideration. Ethiopian courts should interpret domesticated international instruments by relying on the FDRE Constitution as a legal ground.
- Law