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 BLR  Vol.8 No.2 , June 2017
The Nigerian Child and the Right to Participation: A Peep through the Window of “The Best Interest” Clause of the Child’s Rights Act
Abstract: Prior to the Nigerian Child’s Rights Act 2003 (the first holistic enactment on the rights of the child), it was not conceivable (as in several countries of the world before the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) that a child has participatory rights. The Nigerian Child’s Rights Act created participatory rights, but in some of the rights, they did not employ words showing that such rights were participatory, which thereby creating doubts in respect of their enforcement. This paper critically appraises the various sections of the Act on the subject and makes a comparative analysis of the sections on the participatory rights of the child with their equivalent in the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, 1989 and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1990. It recommends that although, the Act did not expressly provide for the right of the child to participate in certain rights, these rights must be interpreted to implicitly included participatory rights in view of the omnibus provision of the Act that provides for “the best interest of the child”. The paper concludes that the legislature undoubtedly did not intend to exclude participatory rights of the child because non-participation of children no longer represents the global state of the law on the rights of children.
Cite this paper: AjaNwachuku, M. (2017) The Nigerian Child and the Right to Participation: A Peep through the Window of “The Best Interest” Clause of the Child’s Rights Act. Beijing Law Review, 8, 159-170. doi: 10.4236/blr.2017.82009.
References

[1]   AjaNwachuku, M. A., & Nwogbo-Egwu, C. C. (2015). Scientific Ascertainment of the Parents of a Nigerian Child: Has the Supreme Court Come to Terms with It? Ebonyi State University Law Journal, 6, 1-8.

[2]   AjaNwachuku, M. A. (2015a). Determination of Paternity of a Child or Adult in Nigeria: Is There Any Justification for the Distinction? Journal of Law, Policy and Globalization, 44, 115-119.

[3]   AjaNwachuku, M. A. (2015b). Determination of the Paternity of the Nigerian Child—The Law: Past, Present and Future. Research on Humanities and Social Sciences, 5, 181-188.

[4]   AjaNwachuku, M. A. (2015c). Legal Framework on the Determination of Paternity of a Nigerian Child: An Eagle That Cannot Fly? Ebonyi State University Law Journal, 6, 1-9.

[5]   AjaNwachuku, M. A. (2015d). The Legal Analysis of the Nebulous Concept of Childhood in Nigeria. Beijing Law Review, 7, 122-126.

[6]   Child’s Rights Act, Cap C50, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2010 sections 1; 4(1); 8; 9; 12; 14 (2); 14 (1); 15 (2) (3) (4) (5); 21 to 23; 30(1); 30(2)(a); 30(2)(c); 63 (1)(a); 63(1)(b); 64; 72; 73; 75; 84(1); 84(3); 86(b); 101(a), (b)(i) & (ii), (c), (d), (e), (f) (g); 101(b)(iii); 102(1); 126(3)(a); 126(3)(b); 149; 150; 156; 157(1); 157(2); 158; 274(1); 277.

[7]   Children and Young Persons Laws, Cap 19, Laws of Eastern Nigeria, 1963.

[8]   Children and Young Persons Ordinance, 1943.

[9]   Compulsory Free Universal Basic Education Act, Cap C52, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2010.

[10]   Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 sections 12; 17(3)(f); 37; 40.

[11]   Criminal Code Act, Cap C38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2010 Sections 30; 351 and 357.

[12]   Glannon, J. W. (2005). The Law of Torts (3rd ed., pp. 3-41). New York: Aspen Publishers.

[13]   Infants Relief Act 1873, A Statute of General Application.

[14]   Labinjo v. Abake (1924). 5 NLR 33.

[15]   Labour Act, Cap L1, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2010, Section 59(2).

[16]   Matrimonial Causes Act, Cap M7, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2010.

[17]   Oloja v. Governor Benue State (2016). 3 NWLR (Pt. 1499) 217 Ratio 217.

[18]   Onibokun, O. M. (1986). Child Protection Measures: Review of Policies and Laws Protecting Children from Abuse in Nigeria. In UNICEF, Child Protection in Nigeria: Summary of Research Findings on Protection and Violation of Children’s Rights (p. 47). Lagos: Jeromelaiho & Associates Ltd.

[19]   Penal Code Law Cap 89 Laws of Northern Nigeria, 1963 Sections 50(a); 262.

[20]   The Charter (African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child 1989) Articles II; IV (2); VII; VIII; XI(1); XII(1); XII(2); XIV.

[21]   The Convention (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1990) Articles I; IX; X(2); XII; XIII (1); XV; XXXI (1); XXXI (2).

[22]   The Declaration (Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948) Article I.

[23]   Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act, No. 24, 2003 as amended in 2005.

[24]   UNICEF Nigeria. Child Rights and Participation.
http://www.unicef.org/nigeria/children_1938.html

 
 
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