THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD – HAS THE BRIDGE BEEN CROSSED BETWEEN THEORY AND PRACTICE: MAURITIUS AND SOUTH AFRICA?
Keywords:best interests of a child, parents are divorcing or separating
On 20 November 1989 the United Nations adopted a treaty, the Convention on the Rights of the Child (hereinafter “the Convention”), which specifically focuses on a particularly vulnerable group in society at large – children (1577 UNTS 3 (1989) 28 ILM 1456). That the international community ratified this treaty so soon after its proposal is indicative of the fact that it considered this treaty as one of major importance. In accordance with Article 49 the Convention took effect and became international law on 2 September 1990. The Republic of Mauritius was quick to respond to the appeal and became a signatory in 1990. South Africa followed suit and became a
signatory on 16 June 1995. The response from both these Republics is admirable, but one has to investigate how these two nations have succeeded in giving effect to their obligations as signatories. The actual provisions in the respective countries’ national law will indicate the measure of true compliance with the Convention. In this note I shall confine my discussion to article 3 and article 4 of the
Convention and more specifically to the consideration of the best interests of a child where his or her parents are divorcing or separating.
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