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Instruments Policy Priority Area 2:  Harmonization of national laws & policies to the African Charter, UNCRC and International Child Rights instruments

Objective: To encourage all partner states to correspond and implement all national laws of international child rights instruments.

2.1. Harmonise the minimum ages of marriage, sexual consent, conscription into armed forces in line with the definition of the Child which is any person below the age of 18 years (as provided by the UNCRC and the ACRWC).

  • Identifying gaps between national and international laws on child rights

  • Ensure the inclusion of these basic children’s rights in the Constitutions and Child Acts of all Partner States

  • Enact an EAC Bill on Child Rights where Partner States laws are brought in compliance with the rights and freedoms enshrined in the UNCRC and the ACRWC

2.2. Define and harmonise the minimum age for criminal responsibility and employment across policies and legislations in Partner States

  • Harmonise national legislations with the provisions of the ACRWC and the CRC

  • Harmonised national legislation complies with International Labour (ILO) Standards on Child labour

2.3. Develop and implement a regional framework for the harmonisation of Child Rights related policies and legislations including Child justice

  • Hold consultations on child justice in the EAC

  • Develop a harmonised format/structure of the legislative measures to be undertaken by Partner States

ProgressProgress in the implementation of Priority Area Two:

  • In October 2018 the study on the Harmonization of Laws on Children by EAC Partner States was concluded. The study provided an in-depth analysis of harmonization of laws on children by EAC Partner States following their ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC). The study report also analyses some relevant thematic areas covered in the other nine objectives of the EAC Child Policy; and establishes that Partner States have done commendable work on harmonization of laws as guided by the UNCRC and the ACERWC but to varying extents. The study is a valuable tool for those Partner States that have not achieved much to build on the lessons of those that have made considerable progress.


East African Community
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