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Children's Rights in Rwanda: A Hierarchical or Parallel Model of Implementation?

In: The International Journal of Children's Rights
Author: Cathy Murray1
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  • 1 School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton
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Abstract

The paper reports on a qualitative study, entitled Children's Rights in Rwanda, which was conducted in Kigali, Rwanda in 2007. Qualitative interviews were conducted with government ministers, senior staff in non-governmental organisations, Human Rights Commissioners, a Senior Prosecutor and the Ombudsman. Two focus groups were held with teenage pupils. The study explores the key children's rights – provision, protection and participation – enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The research question is whether children's participation rights feature in Rwanda, a country in which children's rights to provision and to protection are still being addressed. A parallel model and a hierarchical model of implementing children's rights are proposed and the use of elite interviews discussed. A key finding is that a parallel model of implementation of children's rights is evident, with children's right to participation (at least in the public sphere) being addressed alongside children's right to provision and protection. In the private sphere, children's participation rights lag behind.

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