SENEGAL: 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 Republic of Senegal has signed and ratified the CRC. The Convention takes precedence over national law, as expressly stated in the Constitution. However, it does not take precedence over the Constitution itself. Under Senegalese law, a child cannot bring a case in a domestic court in their own name. However, a case can be brought to a juvenile court by a parent, guardian, representative, or special service provider. There is also a legal obligation to report suspected violence towards children, and special procedures for minors in danger or in conflict with the law. There are several domestic bodies that oversee the country’s adherence to its international commitments, but they have a critical lack of resources and do not reach the rural areas. There are also various regional mechanisms available to hear an alleged violation. A victim can be awarded damages, but payment of an agreed sum by the state has proven difficult to enforce. Traditional cultural values and practices may often lead to cases of violations going unreported.

Download the full report in English and in French.

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