ghanaian children
children

The new report, ‘Rights, Remedies and Representation’, takes into account whether children can bring lawsuits when their rights are violated, the legal resources available to them, the practical considerations for taking legal action and whether international law on children’s rights is applied in national courts.

ghanaian children
children
Ghana has ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and incorporated it into national law through the Children’s Act. Generally, children can only bring cases to court through their “next friend” or guardian. However, they may apply to the Family Tribunal themselves for a care or supervision order or submit a complaint about rights violations to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice.

Legal aid is guaranteed by law for fundamental rights cases brought under the Constitution, for children in conflict with the law and for children appearing at the Family Tribunal, though this is not always enforced in practice. Children have a right to participate in proceedings concerning them and the right to privacy in Family Tribunal proceedings.

Achieving access to justice for children is a work in progress and the report represents a snapshot of the ways children’s rights are protected across the world. The report condenses findings from 197 country reports, researched with the support of hundreds of lawyers and NGOs and is intended to help countries improve access to justice for children nationally.

Director of CRIN, Veronica Yates, said: “While the report highlights many examples of systems poorly suited to protecting children’s rights there are also plenty of people using the courts to effectively advance children’s rights.

“Our ranking represents how well States allow children access to justice rather than how well their rights are enshrined. However, it is hard to ignore how many countries with deplorable human rights records are on the lower end of the ranking for children’s access to justice.”

In the foreword of the report the chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child Benyam Dawit Mezmur said: “The Committee welcomes this research and already envisages its concrete contribution to its various engagements with State Parties.

“Child rights standards in international instruments do not mean much for the lived reality of children if they are not implemented. In particular, if the fundamental rights of children are violated, it is critical that children or those acting on their behalf have the recourse, both in law and in practice, to obtain a remedy to cease, prohibit and/or compensate for the violation.

“I hope this study is only the beginning of a new shift in making access to justice for children a priority that will enable other rights to be fulfilled.”

Child Rights International Network (CRIN) is a global research, policy and advocacy organisation. Our work is grounded in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Our goal is a world where children’s rights are recognised, respected and enforced, and where every rights violation has a remedy. www.crin.org

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.