Children’s rights and parental authority: African perspectives

Authored by: Julia Sloth-Nielsen

Routledge Handbook of Family Law and Policy

Print publication date:  May  2014
Online publication date:  May  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415640404
eBook ISBN: 9780203796221
Adobe ISBN: 9781134447534

10.4324/9780203796221.ch4_5

 Download Chapter

 

Abstract

Traditionally, children in African societies were raised communally, with extended family members playing a vital role in child rearing and care. The adage ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ epitomised this communitarian philosophy. 1 Further, the very definition of childhood was affected, as transitions to adulthood under customary systems depended variously on life events such as marriage or forming an independent homestead, and the end of childhood was not linked to chronological age. As regards parental authority, children were subjected to absolute minority status until they attained the requisite adult status, which could occur well into adult life only.

 Cite
Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.