CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: 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.

The Central African Republic (CAR) ratified the CRC on 3 April 1992, as well as the Optional protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography in 2012. It did not ratify the Optional protocol on children in armed conflicts. While in theory ratified treaties take precedence over domestic law, the CRC does not appear to have been published in the Official journal, which could jeopardise its enforceability. However, the CRC is mentioned in the Constitution's preamble (this is the case for the former (suspended) constitution, the temporary constitution as well as the draft constitution). There is no comprehensive instrument incorporating all children's rights. Children have legal personality but their parents or guardians act as legal administrators until they reach the age of 18. Legal aid is theoretically available, but the decree regulating it is outdated and little known, leading to very few requests being actually considered. There is no functioning national independent institution protecting human rights (the ombudsman office appear to be inactive at the moment). Individuals can bring challenge to the Constitutional Court regarding a law's constitutionality. Finally, cases can take a long time to come to a resolution, and there are difficulties in ensuring that positive court rulings are enforced.

Download the full report in English and French.

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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.