ANGOLA: Access to justice for children

This report is part of CRIN's access to justice for children project, looking at the status of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in national law, the status of children involved in legal proceedings, the legal means to challenge violations of children’s rights and the practical considerations involved in challenging violations.

Angola has ratified the CRC and the country’s 2010 constitution makes specific reference to the rights of children, in particular the best interests of the child. Yet, various pieces of legislation relating to children have not been harmonised with the Convention and there is a large backlog of legislation awaiting adoption by Parliament, including legislation relating to children. The CRC can be directly enforced in the courts and has been applied by the Constitutional Court. Children have to rely on their parents for representation in court, but parents’ ability to act on behalf of children is tempered by the principle of the best interests of the child. Children over ten years of age must be heard in court in all cases which concern their interests and limitation periods only commence after the victim turns 18. The Constitution allows for collective legal challenges, but only when specific interests are represented and provides that the courts cannot deny justice to a party in judicial proceedings because of the lack of  financial means. In many areas of the country, traditional customary law still plays an important role which may provide difficulties in applying positive decisions or legislative changes.

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Please note that these reports are hosted by CRIN as a resource for Child Rights campaigners, researchers and other interested parties. Unless otherwise stated, they are not the work of CRIN and their inclusion in our database does not necessarily signify endorsement or agreement with their content by CRIN.