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Republic of Niger[1] [print]

Last edited: May 2006

 

Summary and Analysis

 

Niger ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child on May 23, 1990 and is also a party to the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. Niger's national laws, regarding the ability of children to express their views in proceedings concerning them, are long-standing and robust. Minors are guaranteed the right to attorneys in both criminal and civil cases, who must defend the civil interests of the child. The state provides funding for the representation of indigents. There are also new Children's courts as of 2003, staffed by specially-trained judges. The main purpose of these courts is not child protection; however they do hear child protection cases.

 

Niger law and practice are in compliance with Article 12. In Niger, international treaties are the highest legal authority. Therefore, the Convention and the requirements of Article 12 are complied with in the law. The system's provision of attorneys, and the practice of these attorneys, also is compliant with Article 12. However, the government's ability to provide full and adequate service to rural areas means that this compliance is not universal.

 

Sources of Law (In Order of Authority)

 

Original Text

 

International Law

 

Convention relative aux droits de l'enfant, [2] ratified May 23, 1990

 

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,[3] signed Feb. 27, 1992, ratified Jun 8, 1992.

 

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

 

Decret N° 2003-098/PRN/MDS/P/PF/PE du 25 avril 2003 portant organisation du Developpement Social, de la population, de la promotion de la femme et de la protection de l'enfant [4]

 

Paragraphe IV : La Direction de la Promotion et de la Protection des Droits de la Femme et de l'Enfant ;

 

Article 7: La Direction de la Promotion et de la Protection des droits de la Femme et de l'Enfant est chargée de : 

- Le suivi de l'application des dispositions d'ordre interne et des conventions internationales relatives à la protection de l'Enfant et du cadre familial ;

- L'Etude des phénomènes influant sur l'éducation, la santé et l'épanouissement de l'enfant, ainsi que la formulation des solutions appropriées pour lutter contre ces phénomènes ;

- La liaison avec les ministères et les organismes nationaux et internationaux s'occupant de l'Enfant ;

- L'élaboration et la mise en œuvre des programmes d'action pour la survie, la protection et le développement de l'Enfant ;

- L'Assistance aux enfants en difficulté ;

- Le suivi de l'application de la convention relative aux droits de l'Enfant, de la Charte Africaine des droits et du bien-être de l'Enfant et de tout autre instrument ratifié par le Niger;

- La Promotion et le renforcement des stratégies visant l'amélioration des conditions de vie des Femmes ;

- L'étude des phénomènes de divorce, de mariage forcé et des travaux domestiques ainsi que la formulation des solutions appropriées pour lutter contre ces phénomènes ;

- L'établissement des relations avec les associations, les mouvements, les institutions des femmes ;

- L'établissement des rapports trimestriels et annuels d'activité ; 

- La Direction de la Promotion et de la Protection des droits de la Femme et de l'Enfant comprend :

- Le Secrétariat ;

- Le service promotion et protection des droits de la Femme ;

- Le service protection et développement de l'Enfant ;

 

Case Law

 

Arrêt du 8 juin 1970[5], Cour Supreme

Attendu que cet appel ne pouvait se rapporter qu'aux seules dispositions du jugement concernant les intérêts civils de la mineure ; Qu'en effet, aux termes de l'article premier de la loi susvisée du 18 mars 1967, le conseil n'est désigné que pour assurer la défense des intérêts civils des mineurs de 21 ans, non émancipés, qui ont été victimes d'une infraction ; qu'il ne saurait, en conséquence, valablement assurer la défense des intérêts personnels des représentants légaux desdits mineurs, et encore moins exercer en leur nom une voie de recours ;

Mais, attendu que l'article 258 du code pénal, qui tend à assurer aux mineurs de 18 ans l'entière protection et la sécurité dues à leur jeune âge, est conçu en termes généraux et ne contient ni réserve, ni restriction ;

 

Translation

 

International Agreements

 

Convention on the Rights of the Child, [6] ratified May 23, 1990

 

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,[7] signed Jul. 13, 1996, ratified Dec. 11 1996.

 

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, an 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

 

Decree No. 2003-098/PRN/MDS/P/PF/PE of April 25, 2003 on the Organization of Social Development, the Population, the Promotion of Women and the Protection of Children[8]

 

Paragraph IV: On the administration of the promotion and protection of the rights of women and children;

 

Article 7: The administration of the promotion and protection of the rights of women and children is responsible for:

The monitoring of the application of dispositions on internal order and international conventions related to the protection of children and the familial framework;

The study of phenomena influencing education, health, and fulfillment of children, as well as formulation of appropriate solutions to fight these phenomena;

The link to the national and international ministries and institutions that deal with children;

The elaboration and implementation of programs of action for the monitoring, protection, and development of children;

Assistance to children in difficult situations;

The monitoring of the application of the convention related to the rights of children, the African Charter on the rights and well-being of children and any other document ratified by Niger;

The Promotion and strengthening of strategies targeted to improve the conditions of living of women;

The study of phenomena such as divorce, coerced marriage and domestic work as well as the formulation of appropriate solutions to fight these phenomena;

The establishment of relations with associations, movements, and institutions of women;

The establishment of quarterly and annual reports of activity;

The administration of the promotion and protection of the rights of women and children including:

The secretariat;

The department of protection of the rights of women;

The department of protection and development of children;

 

Case Law

 

Order of June 8, 1970,[9] Supreme Court

It is understood that this appeal can only concern the dispositions of the judgment related to the civil interests of the minor; That in fact, given the terms of the first article of the above law of March 18, 1967, the council is designated only to defend the civil interests of non-adults below age 21 that have been victims of a violation; that he, therefore, could not validly ensure the defense of the personal interests of the legal representatives of said minor, and even less represent them in an appeal; . . .

But, it is understood that article 258 of the penal code, which serves to ensure to minors below age 18 the entire protection and safety due to their young age, is framed in general terms that neither contains any reservations nor any restrictions

 

Local Contact Information

 

Jean Lieby

UNICEF Niger

+227.410.431

 



Endnotes

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

[2] 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.

[3] 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/.

[4] Decret N° 2003-098/PRN/MDS/P/PF/PE du 25 avril 2003 portant organisation du Developpement Social, de la Population, de la Promotion de la Femme et de la Protection de l'Enfant available here, and also as .pdf Document, and also as Word Document.

[5] Arrêt du 8 juin 1970, Cour suprême, available at http://droit.francophonie.org/doc/html/ne/jug/cs/fr/1970/1970dfnecsfr4.html and also here, and also as .pdf Document, and also as Word Document.

[6] 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..

[7] 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/.

[8] Decree No. 2003-098/PRN/MDS/P/PF/PE of April 25, 2003 on the Organization of Social Development, the Population, the Promotion of Women and the Protection of Children, at ¶ IV, art. 7 (2003).

[9] Order of June 8, 1970, Supreme Court.

 

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