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Guinea (Republic of)[1] [print]

Last edited: December 2005

 

Summary and Analysis

 

Guinea ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child on 10 April 1990[2] and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child on May 27, 1999. International conventions are higher in authority than the local legislation.[3] However, it seems that Article 12 of the Convention is not fully applied and the child does not enjoy an established right to express his views in courts or elsewhere.

 

According to the state's report to the Committee of the CRC,[4] the child is not perceived as capable of expressing his opinion on account of his lack of maturity and sense of discernment.[5] Although the Constitution has a general provision regarding freedom of expression and a provision for the protection of minors, there is no specific provision as to the child's right to express his views. The child's right to express his opinions is limited to expression in the family and is not protected in the legislation.[6]

 

Parents are responsible for raising their children and supervising them. According to the Civil Code, the parents are the legal guardians of the child. When a child is left without a guardian, the Family Council is obliged to appoint a trustee for the child. In any case of trusteeship, there will be a delegate from the family council whose functions will consist of supervising the management of the trusteeship and representing the minor when interests are in opposition with those of the guardian.

The Ministry of Social Affairs, Promotion of Women and Childhood is responsible for child welfare in Guinea[7] and operates the Guinean Committee for Monitoring, Protection and Defense of the Rights of Children with cooperation of local NGOs. According to the concluding observations by the CRC Committee,[8] Guinea established in all the prefectures (at the local level) Committees on Children (Comités pour l'enfance), which play a role of social mobilization and advocacy for the Guinean child, and a network of Mayors Defenders of Children (Maires défenseurs des enfants) at the municipal level. However, it still remains unclear how protective proceedings are conducted in Guinea and if an established social services system exists.

 

Sources of Law (In Order of Authority)

 

Original text

 

Constitution

 

LOI FONDAMENTALE DE LA RÉPUBLIQUE DE GUINÉE [9]

 

Article 7

Il est libre de croire, de penser et de professer sa foi religieuse, ses opinions politiques ou philosophiques.

Il est libre d'exprimer, de manifester, de diffuser ses idées et ses opinions par la parole, l'écrit et l'image.

Il est libre de s'instruire et de s'informer aux sources accessibles à tous.

Article 16

Le mariage et la famille, qui constituent le fondement naturel de la vie en société, sont protégés et promus par l'Etat.

Les parents ont le droit et le devoir d'assurer l'éducation et la santé physique et morale de leurs enfants. Les enfants doivent soin et assistance à leurs parents.

Article 17

La jeunesse doit être particulièrement protégée contre l'exploitation et l'abandon moral.
Les personnes âgées et handicapées bénéficient de l'assistance et de la protection de la société.

 

International law

 

Convention relative aux droits de l'enfant [10]

 

Article 12.

1. Les Etats parties garantissent à l'enfant qui est capable de discernement le droit d'exprimer librement son opinion sur toute question l'intéressant, les opinions de l'enfant étant dûment prises en considération eu égard à son âge et à son degré de maturité.

 

2. A cette fin, on donnera notamment à l'enfant la possibilité d'être entendu dans toute procédure judiciaire ou administrative l'intéressant, soit directement, soit par l'intermédiaire d'un représentant ou d'une organisation approprié, de façon compatible avec les règles de procédure de la législation nationale.

 

Regional Agreements

 

Charte Africaine des Droits et du Bein-etre de l'Enfant[11]

 

Article 4.  Interet Superieur de L'Enfant

2. Dans toute procédure judiciaire ou administrative affectant un enfant qui est capable de communiquer, on fera en sorte que les vues de l'enfant puissent être entendues soit directement, soit par le truchement d'un représentant impartial qui prendra part à la procédure, et ses vues seront prises en considération par l'autorité compétente, conformément aux dispositions des lois applicables en la matière.

 

Article 7.  Liberte d'Expression

Tout enfant qui est capable de communiquer se verra garantir le droit d'exprimer ses opinions librement dans tous les domaines et de faire connaître ses opinions, sous réserve des restrictions prévues par la loi.

Statutes

 

Code Civil [12]

 

Article 393

 

En vue de I'adoption, les futurs adoptant et adopte presentent au Tribunal une requete conjointe. Ils sont entendus en Chambre du Conseil.

Le Ministere public depose des conclusionset Ie Tribunal statue.

Sans prejudice du consentement special de ses parents naturels, le mineur age de seize ans au moins doit exprimer son propre consentement au Juge. Toutes voies de recours peuvent s'exercer en cette matiere.

 

Article 403

 

La mere naturelle est l'administratrice legale des biens de ses enfants mineurs. .

Toutefois, Ie Tribunal pourra en disposer autrement.

 

Article 407

 

Lorsqu'un enfant mineur non emancipe restera sans pere ni mere, ni tuteur elu par son pere, il sera pourvu par le conseil de famille a la nomination d'un tuteur ou d'une tutrice.

 

Article 412

 

Ne peuvent etre tuteurs, ni membresdu conseilde famille:

1. - les mineurs, exceptes le pere et la mere ;

2. - les interdits ;

3. - tous ceux qui ont, ou dont les pere et mere ont avec le mineur un proces dans lequel l'etat de ce mineur, sa fortune ou une partie notable de ses biens sont compromis.

 

Translation

 

Constitution

 

THE FUNDAMENTAL LAW OF THE REPUBLIC OF GUINEA[13]

 

Article 7

 

Every citizen is free to believe, think and profess its religious faith, its political or philosophical opinions.

Every citizen is free to express his ideas and opinions in speech, writing and image.

Every citizen has the right to be informed with the sources accessible to all.

 

Article 16

 

The marriage and the family, which constitute the natural foundation of the life in society, are protected and promoted by the State.

The parents have the right and the duty to ensure education and physical and moral health of their children. On their side, children have a duty of care and assistance to their parents.

 

Article 17

 

Youth must be particularly protected from the exploitation and the moral abandonment. The old and handicapped people profit from the assistance and the protection of the society.

 

The Convention on the Rights of the Child [14]

Article 12

1. States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.

2. For this purpose, the child shall in particular be provided the opportunity to be heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting the child, either directly, or through a representative or an appropriate body, in a manner consistent with the procedural rules of national law.

Regional agreements

 

African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child [15]

 

Article 4: Best Interests of the Child

 

2. In all judicial or administrative proceedings affecting a child who is capable of communicating his/her own views, and opportunity shall be provided for the views of the child to be heard either directly or through an impartial representative as a party to the proceedings, and those views shall be taken into consideration by the relevant authority in accordance with the provisions of appropriate law.

 

Article 7: Freedom of Expression

Every child who is capable of communicating his or her own views shall be assured the rights to express his opinions freely in all matters and to disseminate his opinions subject to such restrictions as are prescribed by laws.

 

Statutes

 

Civil Code[16]

 

Article 393

 

"With a view to adoption, the future adopting and adopted persons shall present a joint request to the court. They shall be heard in the council room... Without prejudice to the special consent of his natural parents, the minor aged at least 16 years should express his own consent to the judge."

 

Article 403

 

"The natural mother shall be the legal administrator of the assets of her children as minors...".

 

Article 407

 

"When a child who is a non-emancipated minor remains without a father, mother, or guardian chosen by his father, the family council shall provide for the appointment of a trustee"

Article 412

 

"Guardians and members of the family council may not be:

1. Minors, excepting the father and the mother;

2. Prohibited persons;

3. Anyone who has, or whose father and mother have legal proceedings against the juvenile in which the status of that juvenile, his fortune or a notable part of his assets are involved".

 

Additional Links

 

http://www.assemblee-nationale.gn.refer.org/ - The National Assembly of Guinea

http://www.assemblee.gov.gn/ - The National Assembly of Guinea

http://www.cauri.com/guinee/maspfe/ - Ministry of Social Affairs, Promotion of Women and Childhood

http://portail.droit.francophonie.org/etats.epl?etat=20 Droit Francophonie

 

 


Endnotes

[1] This page is also available as a .pdf Document, and Word Document.

[2] Ratification of the CRC by Order No. 010/PRG/SGG of March 17, 1990.

[3] The Constitution, Article 79.

[4] Initial Report (1997), U.N. Doc. CRC/C/3/Add.48, available  here, and also as .pdf Document, and also as Word Document.

[5] Id., at ¶44, 56.

[6] Id.

[7] Guinee, Minister des Affaires Sociales, de la Promotion Feminine et de l'Enfance, http://www.cauri.com/guinee/maspfe/.

[8] Concluding Observations (1999), U.N. Doc. CRC/C/15/Add.100, ¶5, available here, and also as .pdf Document, and also as Word Document.

[9] The Constitution, available at http://www.assemblee-nationale.gn.refer.org/.

[10] G.A. Res. 44/125, U.N. GAOR, 44th Session, Supp. No. 49, U.N. Doc. A/44/736 (1989), available at http://www.ohchr.org/french/law/crc.htm.

[11] Charte Africaine des Droits et du Bein-etre de l'Enfant, opened for signature July 11, 1990, OAU Doc. CAB/LEG/24.9/49, available at http://www.africa-union.org/.

[12] Loi 004/APN/83, published by the Ministere De La Justice, available here, and also as .pdf Document, and also as Word Document.

[13] Unofficial translation by a translator provided by the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization.

[14] G.A. Res. 44/125, U.N. GAOR, 44th Session, Supp. No. 49, U.N. Doc. A/44/736 (1989), available at http://www.ohchr.org/english/law/crc.htm.

[15] African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, opened for signature July 11, 1990, OAU Doc. CAB/LEG/24.9/49 available at http://www.africa-union.org/.

[16] Unofficial translation by a translator provided by the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization.

 

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