The Effectiveness of the Convention on the Rights of the Child : Examined through a legal assessment of Ghana’s implementation of Article 35 concerning Child Trafficking.

University essay from Stockholms universitet/Juridiska institutionen

Abstract: The aim of this thesis is to examine to what extent the Convention on the Rights of the Child may be regarded as an effective instrument for a state’s aim to abolish child trafficking. An underlying aim is to examine what factors make a convention effective in general. The study is conducted through a doctrinal method with a legal sociological perspective, examining the normative aspects of law. In this sense, Ghana’s implementation of Article 35 of the CRC is evaluated, in order to reach the objective of the study. Thus, the Ghanaian legal system constitutes the base upon which the analysis is made. Hereby, the effectiveness of the CRC is measured by the extent to which the commitments made by Ghana, have led to the adoption of concrete measures to improve the rights of children as it pertains to child trafficking, since the ratification of the CRC. An underlying aim is to discover what factors may affect the effectiveness of a convention, such as inadequate legal framework, its application of it or other cultural factors.  In order to measure the effectiveness of the CRC, a normative model is applied, explaining both the notions of compliance versus effectiveness. Herein, it is clarified that: in order to measure the effectiveness of a convention in this matter, one first needs to examine if the national legal framework complies to the convention in question. Thus, in the first part, it is concluded that Ghana has successfully incorporated the CRC in its legal framework. In the second part, it is shown how, despite of the effective incorporation of the CRC, there remains a gap between what is prescribed by law and the manifestation in practice.                                                     Different factors have been concluded to influence the effectiveness of the Convention. In order for a state to implement measures to deal with an issue, there must be a clear standard set out in the convention in the first place. In this regard, it has been noted that the lack of clarity and ambiguity of the wording in Article 35 of the CRC may have affected the effectiveness of the convention. Moreover, it is noted that the nature of the issue: the phenomenon of child trafficking, in itself, is a complex issue with certain elements that makes it more challenging to regulate than “normal” human rights violations. Not least, it is proven how the socio-cultural norms of Ghana have a noticeable effect on the implementation of the Convention. At last, it is demonstrated how the process of norm-internalization in a state may affect the effectiveness of a Convention: it has been shown how Ghana’s policy-making system has not been effective in practice. Nevertheless, the conclusion remains: the effectiveness of a convention depends on the function it serves in the first place. As for the case of the CRC, it remains an effectivetool to abolish child trafficking as long as the States Parties take united responsibility to make it so.

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