BOTSWANA: Draft child rights bill on the agenda

[22 October 2008] - The Government of Botswana has drafted a children’s rights bill, according to national newspaper reports.

Minister of Local Government Margaret Nasha, at a meeting in Selebi-Phikwe, said the bill’s purpose was to bring national legislation in line with international commitments.

The Government has ratified both the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.

The bill, which is in its third draft stage, is likely to be discussed in the next parliament session in November. Nasha added that it would not be publicly available until “fully understood and internalised” by the ministry.

Two news websites in Botswana reported that the draft bill had already been criticised by some who feared children “would be able to do as they please”.

But Nasha insisted the critics simply did not understand what they bill intended to achieve.

She said that the bill seeks to affirm a child’s right to live, to nationality, to care by both parents, to parental guidance, and to education, leisure, privacy and identity.

She added that violence, sexual abuse, exploitation, pornography, and child labour were particular concerns that the bill sought to address.

Further information

pdf: Mmegi Online/Daily News Online


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