SWAZILAND: 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.

Swaziland has ratified the CRC, however the Convention does not have the force of law and has not been incorporated into national law. Various options exist to enforce children’s rights, including civil proceedings, private prosecution, complaints to the Commission on Human Rights, and constitutional complaints. Children generally must be represented to initiate court proceedings, though certain exceptions exist for proceedings under the Children’s Act. Courts appear to have wide powers to provide remedies in cases of rights violations. Obstacles to access to justice in Swaziland include the lack of a legal aid system in the country, and violations of children’s rights, including the prohibition of legal representation, in proceedings before traditional courts.

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