Children’s rights and parental authority: African perspectives

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Family Law and Policy
EditorsJohn Eekelaar, Rob George
Place of PublicationAbingdon
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9780203796221
ISBN (Print)9780415640404, 9780415640404, 9781138204027, 1138204021
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2014
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameRoutledge Handbooks


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