The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted by the General Assembly on November 20, 1989, articulates a comprehensive scheme of rights specifically tailored to children. International recognition of children's rights is only the first step, however. The effectiveness of the Convention on the Rights of the Child depends on the signatories' efforts to comply with its provisions and to incorporate children's rights into existing schemes of established rights. The 1996 Constitution of the Republic of South Africa includes specific rights for children resembling those articulated in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Although South Africa has incorporated children's rights into its Constitution, there are still substantial numbers of children in South Africa who do not enjoy the protection that the Convention on the Rights of the Child demands. In this Note, the Author examines the experience of South Africa to illustrate that the constitutionalization of children's rights does not alone ensure that the rights of the Convention are accessible to children. The Author addresses the barriers to South Africa's compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and offers possible solutions to them. The Author's conclusion is that implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child requires legislative reform and increased participation of community-based organizations, as well as constitutionalization of children's rights.
Lauren M. Spitz,
Implementing the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child,
38 Vanderbilt Law Review
Available at: https://scholarship.law.vanderbilt.edu/vjtl/vol38/iss3/6