n Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - Evaluation of children's rights in South African law : the dawn of an emerging approach to children's rights?

Volume 44, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



The article first traces the development of the generally accepted rule that children have rights, and how the Children's Act embodies this notion, specifically in relation to parental responsibilities and rights and the best interests of the child. Secondly, the manner in which African customary law finds expression in the Children's Act is also explored. It is argued that the combination of historically Western and African customary law values in the Children's Act reflects a new approach to children's rights, which has the potential of transforming the interpretation and application of the law relating to children. In the final instance, the article investigates some of the practical realities of children in South Africa. In this regard, the article makes specific recommendations regarding the phenomena of child-headed households and street children.

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