Academic journal article Canadian Social Science

Law and Children's Rights Protection: The Nexus for a Sustainable Development in Nigeria/LE DROIT ET LA PROTECTION DES DOITS DES ENFANTS: LA LIAISON POUR UN DEVELOPPEMENT DURABLE AU NIGERIA

Academic journal article Canadian Social Science

Law and Children's Rights Protection: The Nexus for a Sustainable Development in Nigeria/LE DROIT ET LA PROTECTION DES DOITS DES ENFANTS: LA LIAISON POUR UN DEVELOPPEMENT DURABLE AU NIGERIA

Article excerpt

Abstract:

Every human society, no matter how primitive it may look, is governed by a code of laws. These laws give order and meaning to their lives and serve for social control and overall development of the society. Some societies deny their citizens especially women and children, their natural and civil rights because they believe that the rights of women and children are adequately protected by their husbands and fathers. But the inhuman treatment meted out to women and children even by their husbands and fathers have brought to the fore the errors and problems of taking for granted the protection of the rights of women and children in the society. This paper therefore examines the dangers posed by taking the rights of children for granted in the society and efforts being made in Nigeria to protect the child for the overall and sustainable development of the society.

Key words: child; rights; survival rights; development rights; participation rights; protection rights

Résumé: Toutes les sociétés humaines, quelle que soit son apparence primitive, est régie par un code de lois. Ces lois donnent un ordre et un sens à leur vie et servent de contrôle social et du développement global de la société. Certaines sociétés négligent les droits naturels et civils de leurs citoyens, en particulier les femmes et les enfants, parce qu'elles pensent que les droits des femmes et des enfants sont suffisamment protégés par leurs maris et leurs pères. Mais les traitements inhumains infligés aux femmes et aux enfants, voire par leurs maris et les pères ont mis en évidence les erreurs et les problèmes de considérer que les droits des femmes et des enfants dans la société sont protégés. Le présent article examine donc les dangers posés de considérer les droits des enfants comme acquis dans la société et les efforts déployés au Nigeria, à fin de protéger l'enfant pour un développement global et durable de la société.

Mots-clés: enfants, droits; droit de survie; droit de développment; droit de participation; droit de protection

INTRODUCTION

Development must be sustainable to meet present needs and future. Sustainability safeguards development and guarantees tomorrow's needs. Development is the efficient or judicious utilization of resources (natural, human, industrial, institutional) for creating higher levels of material wealth, social well-being and individual self-fulfillment. Of paramount importance is the human factor in development, without which development is merely a mirage. Human beings are the facilitators of development, and without their children, development can never be sustainable. Thus, children must have the pride of place in every community since the child is the future pool on which the future generation is predicated.

A look down the memory lane reveals that one of the greatest challenges ever faced on earth and still being faced is the need to safeguard the human factor in development. By this, we mean protecting children, giving them a future and thus making development sustainable. Today, half of the world's 2.2 billion children are threatened by poverty and HIV/AIDS (UNICEF, 2005). About 180 million are engaged in the worst forms of child labor; 1 .2 million children are trafficked every year; and the number of children who died in 2003 before they were five was 10.6 million (UNICEF, 2004). These are horrendous; and a threat to global human development.

Law and development must go together since law is an essential tool for social engineering. Law can promote development and at the same time, it can inhibit it. Thus, development in any community must reflect in its laws otherwise archaic laws or the absence of a legal regime might retard development. Law must be in harmony with development and must be able to address social problems.

It is pertinent to note that law, being a dynamic tool in development, has been employed at different times to protect children and their rights. …

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