The students on the LLM/MPhil programme in human rights and democratisation in Africa are assigned to human rights clinics which contributes to the work of the Centre’s research units and give the students practical experience and advance the Centre’s mission towards the realisation of human rights in Africa.
1.Drafting the child-friendly version of the African Children’s Charter
The first mandate of the Children’s Rights Clinic is to draft a child-friendly version of the African Children’s Charter. The performance of this task will be informed by the Guidelines For a Rights-Related Child Friendly Publication, which was developed by the previous children's rights clinic group.
It is necessary to explain to students, during the Inception Meeting, that the child-friendly version of the African Children’s Charter is not an article by article simplification of the document, but a document that captures the essence of the provisions of African Children's Charter. This means that the final outcome document should define who a child is under the Charter, capture the underlying principles of the Charter, identify the main themes of the Charter, as well as the primary duty bearers, and explain how the rights in the Charter can be enforced against the duty bearers.
From our brainstorming meeting, the following tentative outline emerged, but we will engage the students first to gather what they have in mind and share notes afterwards:
- Definition of a child
- General principles of children’s rights
- Freedom rights
- Empowerment rights –to include education and participation, among others
- Protection rights
- Provision rights
- Rights relating to family life
- Responsibilities of the child
- Duty bearers under the African Children’s Charter
- Enforcement – To include reporting, communications, investigations and advocacy
2.Designing an advocacy campaign
For the second mandate, the students are expected to design a campaign on the intersection between technology and children's rights. This exercise will feed into the Centre's Campaign for 2020, which focuses broadly on Technology and human rights.
The campaign planning will be based on a preliminary research and will take into account key elements such as a campaign theme, stakeholders identification and media involvement. The students are expected to outline the desired outcomes and to provide indicators for measuring success achieved. The students are only expected to design the campaign, not to implement it.
3. Submitting a written contribution
The students are expected to prepare a written contribution to be presented at the Global Classroom. This year’s edition of the Global Classroom will focus on the UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty (Global Study) coordinated by Prof Manfred Nowak, and the implementation of its recommendations.
The paper must be informed by the findings and recommendations of the Global Study. The students must elaborate on the relevance of the study findings and recommendations to the African continent and identify challenges to deprivation of liberty of children in the region; they must also develop responses to the thematic areas proposed in the study relevant to Africa.
The students will be supported in carrying out this task by providing them with the necessary materials which will inform the drafting of their paper (The Global Study and other related documents).
Children's Rights Clinic Members: 2021