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Senegal[1] [print]

Last edited: May 2006

 

Summary and Analysis

 

Senegal ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child on September 29, 1998.  The Senegal Constitution explicitly affirms the state's adherence to the Convention, and grants supremacy to duly-ratified international treaties and agreements.

 

Specific child protection laws exist, as do specific Juvenile Courts, but the state lacks resources for the full execution of those laws.  A project to reform the Criminal, Criminal Procedure, and Family Codes is in progress, and will probably be complete by the end of 2006, or perhaps shortly thereafter.  The project will align these codes more closely with the CRC and other human rights conventions, and will allocate resources for the enforcement of child protection laws.

 

We were unable to obtain the official texts of the relevant child protection statutes, although our contact person in Senegal was able to provide us with the following information.  Cases are submitted to the Juvenile Court by the child him or herself, a parent, the state prosecutor, the president of the Juvenile Tribunal, or state social services organizations.  The child can be heard directly by the investigating magistrate.  The interview may take place in private, and the magistrate may appoint a lawyer for the child, if the nature of the case requires.

 

Sources of Law (In Order of Authority)

 

Original Text

 

International Law

Convention relative aux droits de l'enfant, [2] ratified Jul. 31, 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 May 18, 1992, ratified Sep. 29, 1998.

 

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.

 

Constitution

 

La Constitution de La Republique du Senegal[4]

Preambule

Le peuple du Sénégal souverain,

Affirme:

- son adhésion à la Déclaration des Droits de l'Homme et du Citoyen de 1789 et aux instruments internationaux adoptés par l'Organisation des Nations Unies et l'Organisation de l'Unité Africaine, notamment la Convention relative aux Droits de l' Enfant du 20 novembre 1989

 

Translation

 

International Law

 

Convention on the Rights of the Child,[5] ratified Jul. 31, 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,[6] signed May 18, 1992, ratified Sep. 29, 1998.

 

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.

 

Constitution

 

Constitution of the Republic of Senegal[7]

 

The sovereign people of Senegal

 

Affirm

 

their adherence to the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen of 1789, and to international instruments adopted by the United Nations and the African Union, particularly the Convention on the Rights of the Child of November 20 1989

 

Local Contact Information

 

Mamadou Wane

UNICEF Regional Office for West and Central Africa
P.O. Box 29720 Dakar-Yoff
Senegal

+221 889.03.00 (UNICEF)

+221 889.03.15 (Direct line)

mwane@unicef.org

 



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] La Constitution de la Republique du Senegal, available at http://www.gouv.sn/textes/constitution.html, and also as .pdf Document.

[5] 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.

[6] 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/.

[7] Unofficial translations by a translator provided by Yale Law School.

 

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