Authors:
Anwuli Irene Ofuani-Sokolo Department of Private and Property Law, Faculty of Law, University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria

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Hadiza Omoyemhe Okunrobo Department of Public Law, Faculty of Law, University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria

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Abstract

Article 6(2) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child places an obligation on countries to ensure the survival and development of the child. The right underlines the importance of ensuring that children's rights to health, an adequate standard of living, access to basic services and education are respected in all circumstances. In addition, it requires effective national and international implementation.

These provisions are included in section 4 of the Child's Right Act to ensure optimum protection for children in Nigeria. Nonetheless, children's rights have been drastically affected by the Boko-Haram insurgency. This has resulted in death, abduction, displacement of, and violence against children. Moreover, the prevalence of malnutrition, food scarcity, diseases, and lack of access to water, sanitation, health care, and education remains a challenge.

Accordingly, this paper seeks to examine the efficacy of the laws and policies in place to protect children's right to survival and development in Nigeria. It argues that despite the existing legal and policy framework for protecting children's rights, there has been little focus on the best interest standard in the attainment of the rights of the child. The paper recommends a child-centric approach to adequately provide protection for children in conflict-plagued zones in Nigeria.

Abstract

Article 6(2) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child places an obligation on countries to ensure the survival and development of the child. The right underlines the importance of ensuring that children's rights to health, an adequate standard of living, access to basic services and education are respected in all circumstances. In addition, it requires effective national and international implementation.

These provisions are included in section 4 of the Child's Right Act to ensure optimum protection for children in Nigeria. Nonetheless, children's rights have been drastically affected by the Boko-Haram insurgency. This has resulted in death, abduction, displacement of, and violence against children. Moreover, the prevalence of malnutrition, food scarcity, diseases, and lack of access to water, sanitation, health care, and education remains a challenge.

Accordingly, this paper seeks to examine the efficacy of the laws and policies in place to protect children's right to survival and development in Nigeria. It argues that despite the existing legal and policy framework for protecting children's rights, there has been little focus on the best interest standard in the attainment of the rights of the child. The paper recommends a child-centric approach to adequately provide protection for children in conflict-plagued zones in Nigeria.

1 Introduction

Children are central to the continued existence, stability, well-being, and advancement of every society.1 In other words, they are fundamental actors of tomorrow's world.2 As such, they are entitled to survive and develop in conditions that ensure that they reach their full potential. Ensuring the survival and development of the child should therefore be a priority for the government of any country. Given that children are a vulnerable group,3 armed conflicts affect them as they are imperilled by human rights violations such as killings, violence, displacement, food insecurity and a lack of basic social amenities, all of which impinge on their survival and development.4

These human rights violations have been fuelled by the activities of the Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeastern region of Nigeria. The Boko Haram insurgency, which has spanned more than a decade, is responsible for grave violations of the right to survival and development of the child. A review of the literature shows that in the past ten years, the Boko Haram insurgency has had a devastating impact on the welfare and rights of children in North-Eastern Nigeria,5 particularly in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.6 Indeed, the insurgency has impacted on children's rights to life, to be free from torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment, and their right to food, health, family life and education, which are central to their life, survival and development and in turn, critical in the re alisation of the sustainable development goals 2030.

The attacks by Boko Haram in the past ten years have resulted in the death and displacement of numerous children in direct attacks, crossfires, suicide bombings and the use of improvised explosive devices.7 The use of children, particularly girls, as suicide bombers and human shields has resulted in the deaths of many children.8 For instance, between 2017 and 2018, 189 children were used as suicide bombers with the youngest being a baby strapped to another child.9 As Osasona points out, Boko Haram has used four times more girls than boys in suicide bombings.10 Many children have also died from the indirect effects of the insurgency such as malnutrition, poor healthcare, lack of clean water and diseases.11 In 2019, about 20,000 children were separated from their families because of the crisis in the Northeast.12 Furthermore, as at 2021, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) estimates that the insurgency has directly and indirectly engendered the death of over 300,000 children, most of whom were below five years of age.13

Undoubtedly, the Boko Haram insurgency has had a profound effect on the rights of the Nigerian child. To this end, the government of Nigeria has made concerted efforts to protect the rights of children through the enactment of laws and policies to amplify the provisions of the CRC and other international human rights instruments in Nigeria. One such law is the Child's Rights Act 2003, which stipulates the rights of the child in Nigeria, therefore creating a specific framework for the protection of the rights of the child. Yet, the Boko Haram insurgency which has spanned more than a decade, has revealed that these legal or policy frameworks are inadequate.

Accordingly, this paper examines the impact of the Boko Haram insurgency on the rights to survival and development of the child in Nigeria. It argues that the responses put forward by government are inadequate to safeguard the rights and survival of the child in armed conflict situations as these responses are not child centric. The methodology employed in this paper is the doctrinal methodology of research. The paper is analytical and involves a historical review of the literature on the subject matter within the past 10 years (2012–2022) through a systematic search of four research sites/databases – HeinOnline, Google Scholar, ResearchGate and Academia –, with the aim of identifying relevant authorities on Boko Haram in relation to the child's right to survival and development. It also examines media reports on Boko Haram within the context of the paper within the past 10 years. The paper is divided into five parts. The first part introduces the paper. The second part involves a conceptual analysis of the right to the survival and development of the child. The third part discusses the impact of the Boko Haram Insurgency on the right to survival and development of the Nigerian Child. The fourth part examines the legal protection of the child's right to survival and development in Nigeria. Lastly, the fifth part makes recommendations and concludes the paper.

2 Conceptual underpinnings to the right to survival and development of the child

The origin of the right to survival and development is attributable to the Geneva Declaration on the Rights of the Child (Declaration of Geneva), adopted by the League of Nations on 26 September, 1924.14 The Declaration of Geneva, which contained five principles, was the first internationally recognised instrument to specifically articulate children's rights.15 The Declaration stated that children are entitled to measures for their material and spiritual development; assistance in times of need; priority in receiving relief in times of distress; economic empowerment and protection from exploitation.16 These rights are grounded to some extent in the need to ensure the child's survival and development. However, being a declaration, the Declaration of Geneva imposed no obligations on States and the child was regarded as ‘an object of protection’ rather than as ‘a holder of rights’.17 In 1948, the United Nations expanded the Declaration of Geneva by adding two principles to its five principles on account of the experiences of children in the Second World War.18 The two additions to the 1948 Declaration emphasised the protection of the child over and above ‘all considerations of race, nationality or creed’ as well as the care of the child ‘with due respect for the family as an entity’.19 Moreover, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) which was also adopted by the same year contains human rights provisions that are applicable to all persons including children.20 Article 25 of the UDHR conceivably plays a critical role in demonstrating the international commitment towards the right to an adequate standard of living which is crucial to a child's survival and development.21 The UDHR also entitles children to ‘special care and assistance’ and ‘social protection’.22

The structure and contents of the Declaration of Geneva were further expanded by the Declaration of the Rights of the Child which was adopted on 10 December 1959.23 The rights contained in the declaration include the child's rights to non-discrimination; special protection and measures for material and spiritual development; social security, health care, adequate nutrition, housing, recreation and medical services; special treatment and care for disabled children; education; best interests of the child; play and recreation; priority for protection and relief; and protection against neglect, cruelty and exploitation.24

The 1959 Declaration culminated in the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) by the United Nations General Assembly on 20 November 1989.25 The CRC recognises ‘the roles of children as social, economic, political, civil and cultural actors’ and lays down the basic standards for the protection of the rights of children.26 Particularly, article 6 of the CRC provides for the right to life along with the right to survival and development of the child.27 Their interlinkage is evident since actions that imperil the inherent right to life also explicitly or implicitly imperil the right to survival and development.28 This interlinkage will therefore be highlighted in the paper with reference to the Boko Haram insurgency and its effect on the rights of children in Nigeria. Furthermore, the mechanisms for the implementation of the rights of the child are centred on the best interest standard, which is aimed at ensuring both the full and effective enjoyment of all the rights recognised in the CRC and the holistic development of the child. This places the best interest of the child far and above other interests in cases of armed conflict and humanitarian relief.

The term ‘survival’ does not have a definite meaning in international law.29 Even so, the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English defines it as ‘the state of continuing to live or exist’.30 In child rights parlance, survival is understood as an obligation to take positive measures to prevent the death of a child.31 Vandenhole, Türkelli and Lembrechts posit that ‘survival’ refers to the ‘minimum requirements or basic needs’ to reduce child deaths, prolong the life of all children and ensure the healthy growth of the child.32 The indices for survival are therefore the reduction of child mortality and the prolongation of the lives of all children.33 In short, child survival goes beyond the mortality and morbidity of children to include addressing factors that affect the child's immediate environment such as access to water, healthcare and sanitation services.34 Development, on the other hand, is well recognised in international instruments as an individual and collective right, the realisation of which is the state's responsibility35 The Macmillan Dictionary defines ‘development’ as ‘change, growth, or improvement over a period of time’.36 With regards to the child, it refers to the psychological, emotional, intellectual, mental and social growth of the child.37 In line with this, the Committee on the Rights of the Child conceptualises development as a ‘holistic concept, embracing the child's physical, mental, spiritual, moral, psychological and social development’.38 Development is therefore not just about preparing the child for adulthood but also involves providing optimal conditions for childhood.39

Intrinsically, survival and development are interwoven and mutually dependent, considering that the prevention of child mortality and the prolongation of the life of the child cannot be separated from the overall growth of the child. As succinctly stated by Huebner et al., ‘children develop holistically. As whole human beings, we do not first survive physically and then develop intellectually, socially, and emotionally’40 In other words, the survival of the child is intricately linked to the development of the child41 as one is needed to achieve the other. They are ‘complementary concepts’ that reinforce each other because a child who survives must develop healthily and to develop healthily, a child must survive.42 Thus, the right of the child to survival and development can be surmised as a right that strives to prolong children's lives whilst ensuring their optimal growth. According to Dutschke and Abrahams, ‘[T]he right to survival and development speaks to a continuum that begins at maximum survival and progresses to an endpoint represented by the optimum development of the child.’43 The right can only be realised in a holistic manner in tandem with other rights including access to basic services such as healthcare, clean water and sanitation, and an adequate standard of living and education.44 These rights, as stated by O'Hare, are the minimum core economic and social rights that are significantly important to ensuring children's survival and development.45 This requires states to put into effect active measures to ensure the survival and development of the child as well as take preventative steps ‘to prolong the life of the children’.46 In essence, promotion of the right entails addressing factors such as diseases, lack of clean water, inadequate sanitation, inadequate health services, malnutrition, armed conflicts, preventable diseases and inadequate education services, all of which undermine the right.47 More so, the importance of protecting the rights of the child in periods of armed conflicts was augmented by the Day of the African Child, 2018. Its theme ‘Leave No Child Behind for Africa's Development’ emphasised the need to make substantial advances at promoting the development of children who have been greatly impacted by armed conflicts, so they are not left behind. This is even more pertinent for Nigeria which recently ranked 174 out of 180 countries based on the indices of child survival and development such as maternal survival, under-five survival rates, access to health services, basic hygiene and sanitation, poverty, education, nutrition, and protection from violence.48 The Nigerian situation has been further exacerbated by the Boko Haram insurgency and the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the consequence of the non-realisation of the child's right to survival and development is death, effective national and international implementation measures are required.49

3 The Boko Haram insurgency and its impact on the right to survival and development of the child

The exact date of origin of the insurgent religious sect, Boko Haram, remains a subject of speculation, although some evidence points to its existence in 1995 as a non-violent group known ‘Ahlulsunna wal’ jama’ ah hijra.’50 The sect became formally known as ‘Jama'atu Ahlis Sunnah Lidda'awatiwal Jihad’ which means ‘People committed to the propagation of the Prophet's teachings and Jihad’ in 2002 under the leadership of Mohammed Yusuf in 2002, but is popularly called Boko Haram.51 ‘Boko Haram’ is a derivative of the Hausa word ‘boko’ which in Searcy's opinion has an array of meanings indicating ideas or actions that are ‘fraudulent’, ‘inauthentic’ or ‘deceptive’.52 Simply put, it denotes ‘any reading or writing which is not connected with Islam’ and the word ‘boko’ is customarily preceded with ‘Karatun’, that is, ‘Karatun Boko’ meaning ‘western type of education’.53 The Arabic word ‘haram’ means forbidden or sinful.54 Thus, Boko haram figuratively translates to ‘Western education is forbidden/sinful.’55 The sect was initially committed to preaching and converting persons to Islam but by 2009 it become more radicalised in action and speech, which culminated in the violence that became a national concern.56 The turning point for Boko Haram was July 2009 when in a bid to suppress the activities of the sect, Nigerian security forces arrested and extra-judicially killed Yusuf, resulting in a horrendous revolt by members of the sect now led by Abubakar Shekau.57 The revolt resulted in the internal displacement of over 3,500 people, the killing of numerous civilians and security personnel, the burning down of police stations and bomb explosions.58 Since the 2009 attack, there has been a spate of violence and terror in Nigeria characterised by killings, the use of explosive devices, suicide bombings, the destruction of property, abductions and attacks on schools, health centres and religious places of worship.59 Basic amenities such as food, water, shelter and healthcare have been jeopardised by the Boko Haram insurgency. This resulted in its being declared a terrorist organisation by the United States of America in 2013.60

Boko Haram has also carried out mass abductions and exploitation of schoolboys and girls across Northern Nigeria.61 On 14 April 2014, Boko Haram shocked the world by abducting 276 schoolgirls aged 16–18 years at Chibok, Borno State.62 Thereafter, 110 female students from Dapchi, Yobe State in201863 and 344 schoolboys from a school in Katsina state in 202064 were abducted, setting-off a trend which continued up until 2021. In effect, more than 1,548 children were abducted in 11 different incidents between 2014 and 2021.65 Whereas the abducted boys are forcefully converted into the Islamic faith and/or conscripted as soldiers, the girls are forcefully converted into the Islamic faith, raped, turned into sex slaves or labourers, used as spies or suicide bombers, forcefully married off and/or impregnated by members of the sect.66 These abductions and the exploitation of the children involved puts them in danger of early death and injury. It also results in psychological trauma owing to the rejection, fear, mistrust, discrimination, and maltreatment they experience from their communities due to their being abducted or exploited or the belief that they are spies for Boko Haram.67 Additionally, the abducted children are subjected to beatings when they fail to conform to the standards established by the sect such as praying or reading the Koran.68

Millions of persons, including children, have also been displaced because of the insurgency as they have fled their communities to avoid attacks by Boko Haram. The International Organization for Migration estimates that as of June 2022, about 2.2 million people in North-Eastern Nigeria, including children, had been displaced.69 Consequently, many children have been separated from their parents, depriving them of the nurture, care, and parental love they require to thrive.70 The insurgency and the resultant displacement of people also drive food insecurity. As pointed out by Iacoella and Tirivayi, ‘conflict and displacement are major drivers of food insecurity as they decrease nutritional intake’ especially for displaced children and access to food markets in conflict areas giving rise to food scarcity.71 Hence, the Boko Haram insurgency has impacted on food security and the decline in agricultural productivity in Nigeria as most of the communities where the attacks occur are food producing areas.72 The decline in agricultural productivity and food insecurity is largely attributable to farmers' abandoning their farms for fear of attacks.73 The death and injuries of farmers, abandonment of markets by traders for fear of attacks, lack of funds and unavailability of manpower have also contributed to the food insecurity in the country.74 This has significantly affected input markets, storage, transportation and sales of food, resulting in an increase in food prices and malnourishment.75

Health care remains inaccessible for many people in the conflict regions because of attacks on health care facilities by Boko Haram. As at March 2021, 35.4% of the health facilities in the Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states which are strongholds of Boko Haram activities were destroyed, inoperative, or only partially operational.76 The inaccessibility of health care has given rise to the spread of diseases, malnutrition and death in young children within regions affected by the insurgency and in camps for internally displaced persons.77 This is further aggravated by lack of access to clean and safe water, sanitation services and hygiene infrastructure such as toilets, as well as large populations in camps for internally displaced persons.78

The education of children in the conflict regions has also been greatly affected by the insurgency. This is attributable to attacks on schools which often involve burning of schools, destruction of school facilities, abduction of school children and teachers, and even occupation of the schools by the insurgents.79 This in turn has resulted in protracted closure of schools and the curtailment of education, especially for girls, in a region where education was already precarious for the girl child.80 In fact, UNICEF estimates that over 11,000 schools were closed in the country from December 2020 to early 2022.81 Hence, there has been poor school attendance and enrolment on account of parents and students' fear of abduction. The poor enrolment/attendance coupled with the displacement of families and destruction of school facilities has increased the number of out-of-school children, particularly girls, as well as the rate of illiteracy.82 In May 2022, UNICEF estimated that about 18.5 million children are out-of-school, 60% of whom are girls.83

Evidently, Boko Haram has given rise to the violation of children's right to survival and development. An examination of the existing legal framework is therefore required to ensure that the child's right to survival and development is adequately protected.

4 Legal protection of the Child's Right to survival and development

This part of the paper examines the legal framework for the protection of the child's right to survival and development in Nigeria. It contains two sections which examine the international and regional norms that protect the child's right to survival and development, and the national framework for the protection of the child's right to survival and development, respectively. The first section examines the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC), for which Nigeria has accepted the obligations stipulated in them. The second part examines the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999as well as Nigeria's Child Rights Act.

4.1 International and regional norms that protect the Child's Right to survival and development

The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is the foremost international human rights treaty pertaining to children's rights and it is the most widely ratified human rights treaty in the world.84 The CRC contains civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights and sets out standards for the protection and promotion of the rights of children.85 The CRC was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 20 November 1989 and came into force on 2 September 1990.86 Nigeria ratified the CRC on 19 April 1991.87 Similarly, the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC) is the first regional treaty to address child rights and contains provisions promoting and protecting the rights of children in Africa.88 The ACRWC was adopted by the Organization of African Unity (now the African Union) in July 1990 and entered into force in November 1999. The ACRWC contains similar provisions and underlying principles as the CRC but goes beyond the CRC by addressing issues peculiar to African States such as harmful traditional practices, internal conflicts, and displacement.89 Nigeria ratified the ACRWC on 23 July 2001.90

The relevant provisions of the CRC and ACRWC are examined hereunder in two themes – the right to survival and development and the rights related to the right to survival and development.

4.1.1 The right to survival and development

Article 6 of the CRC guarantees the child's right to life as well as the child's right to survival and development. The interlinking of right to life with the right to survival and development enhances the right to life and links civil and political rights with economic, social, and cultural rights, thereby addressing an age-old division in international human rights.91 In particular, article 6 (2) of the CRC provides that ‘State Parties shall ensure to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of the child’. It establishes a variety of positive obligations providing an additional layer of protection for children.92 It places an obligation on states to ensure that children ‘grow up in a healthy and protected manner, free from fear and want, and to develop their personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential consistent with their evolving capacities’.93 It requires a wide obligation of States ‘to protect children against homicide, infanticide, suicide, preventable child and infant mortality, harmful traditional practices, such as honour killings and female genital mutilation, violence, exploitation, child labour, trafficking, child prostitution, child pornography’ and armed conflict.94 States also have a duty to facilitate international collaboration and support for the optimal development of children, particularly in poor and developing countries.95 This in line with the provisions of the Manual on Human Rights Reporting that:

Measures taken by States to implement article 6 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child may be ‘of a positive nature and thus designed to protect life, including by increasing life expectancy, diminishing infant and child mortality, combating diseases, and rehabilitating health, providing adequate nutritious foods and clean drinking water’. […] States Parties should therefore refrain from any action that may intentionally take life away, as well as take steps to safeguard life.96

In the same vein, article 5 (2) of the ACRWC provides for the right of the child to survival and development. It states that states party to the Charter must safeguard, to ‘the maximum extent possible, the survival, protection, and development of the child’. The African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (the African Committee of Experts) has noted that in implementing the right, ‘measures should be aimed at achieving the optimal development for all children, including the child's physical, mental, spiritual, moral, psychological and social development’.97 The African Committee of Experts further stated that the sustainable development goals (SDGs) compliment the ACRWC and serve as a tool for the realisation of children's rights to survival and development in Africa through good governance, targeted policies and adequate provision of the required services.98

Thus, the right to survival and development of the child underscores the implementation of the CRC such that when states fail to realise the obligations under the right, this renders other rights in the CRC ineffective.99 The same goes for the ACRWC, as the right can only be realized in a holistic manner in tandem with other rights in the ACRWC. For this reason, the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC Committee) affirms that the right to survival and development can only be implemented in a holistic manner, through the enforcement of all the other provisions of the CRC, including rights to health, adequate nutrition, social security, an adequate standard of living, a healthy and safe environment, education and play (articles 24, 27, 28, 29 and 31), as well as through respect for the responsibilities of parents and the provision of assistance and quality services (articles 5 and 18).100 This is in line with the African Committee of Experts' acknowledgment that all the rights in the ACRWC are relevant for children as they aspire ‘to progressively facilitate the proper development of children from childhood to adulthood.’101 Consequently, children ‘have the right to benefit from economic and social policies that will allow them to survive into adulthood and develop’. These provisions are important as poor health outcomes, malnutrition, a lack of social security, a poor standard of living, an unhealthy environment, a lack of education, as well as a lack of leisure and play severely impact on the child's right to survival and development. They often result in infant and child mortality, poor life expectancy and death. This implies that states shall take into consideration the economic, social, and cultural contexts of the child's survival and development.102

Clearly, article 6 (2) is able to deal with all aspects of a child's life as it places a wide range of obligations on states.103 It is for this reason that the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC Committee) acknowledged it as one of the core principles of the CRC.104 The same goes for article 5 (2) of the ACRWC. However, a potential limitation of the right in the CRC and ACRWC is the inclusion of the term ‘to the maximum extent possible’, which seems to suggest potential exceptions limiting the obligations of state parties, such as limited resources available to the state.105 The factors that can be used to justify limitations on efforts on the part of the state include availability of resources, and acts or omission by parents, other actors, or the child.106

4.1.2 The rights integral to the Child's Right to survival and development

Given that the implementation of the right of the child to survival and development is linked to the CRC and ACRWC in their entirety, there are certain rights and principles that are particularly integral to the child's right to survival and development. One such right is the right to health. The CRC and the ACRWC provide that children have the right to enjoy the best attainable state of physical, mental, and spiritual health.107 They both provide that in the implementation of the right, measures should be taken to reduce the mortality rate; to ensure the provision of necessary health care to all children, especially primary health care; to provide adequate nutrition and safe drinking water, and to combat disease and malnutrition within the frame work of primary health.108 In this regard, the CRC Committee has acknowledged the link between the right to health and the right to survival and development.109 Likewise, the African Committee of Experts has reiterated in its concluding remarks, the need to combat child mortality and address malnutrition, which are issues affecting the survival and development of children in many African countries.110 The African Committee of Experts has also recommended that states ensure that children are nourished properly from food products that are easily available at the household level through sensitization of communities about the minimum necessary diet for children, that food supplements are provided for children and that people are trained on how to use supplements in producing food to overcome under-nutrition.111 The African Committee of Experts also stressed the importance of ensuring access to safe drinking water by building more water reserve dams.112 These recommendations are germane in light of the child mortality, malnutrition and lack of basic services plaguing Nigeria in the wake of the Boko Haram insurgency which are issues affecting the health of the Nigerian child and invariably their right to survival and development.

Another requisite right/principle required for the implementation of the child's right to survival and development is the principle of the best interest of the child. Both the CRC and the ACRWC provide that the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration in all actions concerning children.113 According to the CRC Committee, the principle is aimed at guaranteeing ‘the full and effective enjoyment of all the rights’ recognized in the CRC and the ‘holistic development of the child’.114 The Committee recommends that ‘[I]n the assessment and determination of the child's best interests, the State must ensure full respect for the inherent right to life, survival, and development.’115 Closely linked to the best interest principle is the right of the child to play, leisure and recreation,116 the realization of which is fundamental to the ‘quality of childhood’ and children's optimum development.117 Consequently, the CRC Committee has acknowledged that play and recreation are fundamental to the health, well-being and development of children118 and that the realization of the child's right to play, leisure and recreation is, invariably, in the child's best interests.119 The CRC Committee also urged states to foster ‘awareness and understanding’ of the importance of play for children's development.120 Over the years, global or national emergencies have affected the enjoyment of these rights by children and in the wake of COVID-19, the situation has worsened for children, especially those affected by the Boko Haram Insurgency.

The right to education is also pertinent to the effective implementation of the right of the child to survival and development. The CRC and ACRWC provide that every child has the right to education which shall be aimed at, amongst other things, ‘the promotion and development of the child's personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential’.121 The CRC Committee acknowledges that the enforcement of the right to education is a pathway to implementing the right to survival and development.122 However, the ACRWC goes further by providing for the adoption of specific measures targeted at equal access to education for all children, particularly the girl child.123 This is significant because in Nigeria girl children have borne the brunt of educational disadvantage, and especially because they have been more affected in terms of truncation of their education because of the activities of Boko Haram. For this reason, the African Committee of Experts in its concluding observation to Nigeria noted with concern the ‘increased use of children by Boko Haram in support and combat roles’, including use of girls as suicide bombers, low school enrolment rates and the poor quality of facilities in school.124 The African Committee of Experts also recommended that the Nigerian government take all necessary children specific measures to reduce the impact of the armed conflict on children's right to life and also provide better security to students and teachers in schools affected by armed conflict.125

The protection of children from being recruited or engaging in armed conflicts as well as ensuring their protection against child abuse, violence and torture is another right relevant to ensuring their right to survival and development. Accordingly, the ACRWC provides that measures be taken to prevent children from engaging or being recruited in armed conflict.126 Interestingly, the CRC prohibits the engagement of or recruitment of children below the age of fifteen years.127 The CRC and ACRWC also provide for the protection of children from all forms of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment, physical or mental injury or abuse, neglect or maltreatment, including sexual abuse.128 In line with this, the CRC Committee linked the right to survival and development to violence in itsGeneral Comment 13 by stating that ‘children's survival and their “physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development’ (art. 27, para. 1) are severely negatively impacted by violence’.129 Similarly, the African Committee of Experts has recommended that states put in place all the necessary measures in all settings to protect children from violence that affects their right to life, survival and development.130 The African Committee of Experts also recommended that the Nigerian Government take all necessary child-specific measures to minimise the effect of armed conflict on children's right to life in Nigeria and include in the next periodic report the concrete measures taken, as well as progress made in this regard.131 The African Committee of Experts highlighted that in the likelihood of any armed conflicts, children not be recruited or face hostilities.132 The Committee also recommends the State Party put in place all the necessary measures in all settings to protect children from violence that affects their right to life, survival and development.133

In spite of the aforementioned provisions and recommendations, the Nigerian government has failed to make a concerted effort to adopt a child centred approach in addressing the Boko Haram insurgency in line with the provisions of the CRC. Although efforts have been made by the government to curb the insurgency, little or no regard has been had for the best interests of the child and there are inadequate economic and social policies to ensure children survive into adulthood and develop optimally in the face of the insurgency. Therefore, the life expectancy of children has diminished, infant and child mortality is on the increase, diseases are rampant, and health outcomes, nutrition and access to clean drinking water are inadequate, with dire effects for the right of children in Nigeria to survive and develop. Likewise, there are inadequate measures aimed at equal access to education for all children, particularly the girl child, as girls still experience disparate educational outcomes. In addition, governmental efforts to curb the recruitment, abduction, violence, neglect, maltreatment, and abuse of children by Boko Karam have been abysmal as children are subjected to all forms of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment and are still actively recruited and directly involved in hostilities. This governmental inertia in the face of these violations continually affects the right to survival and development of children in Nigeria.

It is also noteworthy that by virtue of the provisions of article 42 (b) of the ACRWC, the African Committee of Experts has the mandate to monitor the implementation and ensure the protection of the rights contained in the ACRWC. In this regard, State Parties to the ACRWC are expected to send in a report within 2 years of entry into force of the charter, and then every three years, of the adoption of the provisions of the charter and progress made thereafter. Even though Nigeria has submitted its first and second reports to the African Committee of Experts, it has failed to meet its commitment to submit reports on its progress in realising its commitments under the ACRWC as its last report to the committee was in 2014.

4.2 National framework for the Child's Right to survival and development

The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999(The 1999 Constitution) and the Children's Rights Act of 2003 (CRA) contain provisions that protect the child's right to survival and development. These provisions, along with other measures taken by the government, are examined in this section.

4.2.1 The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (The 1999 constitution)

The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 does not explicitly provide for the right of the child to survival and development. However, components of the right and governmental responsibility in terms of the right are found in Chapter II of the constitution. One such provision is the obligation to provide suitable and adequate shelter and food to all citizens.134 The Constitution also provides that the state shall ensure that there are adequate medical and health facilities for all persons.135 The protection of children against any form of exploitation and against moral and material neglect is also provided in the Constitution.136 The Constitution further provides for the advancement of family life as well as ‘equal and adequate educational opportunities at all levels’.137 The government has an obligation in section 14 (2) to ensure that the security and welfare of the people shall be its utmost priority. In preserving social order, section 17 mandates the state to direct its policy to protect children, young people, and the elderly. The implication of these constitutional provisions is that these groups of persons are the most vulnerable in any given situation or emergency and their safety and protection is the utmost responsibility of the government. Nevertheless, the question remains whether the government of Nigeria has fulfilled these objectives under the Constitution in the wake of the Boko Haram insurgency, particularly in the Northeast of Nigeria.

These provisions are useful in light of the Boko Haram insurgency as most children who have been displaced from their homes and separated from their families lack adequate shelter and experience food scarcity due to the insurgency. Likewise, many children are hungry and malnourished. Healthcare and educational facilities have also been destroyed or in most cases made inaccessible, and many children - particularly girls - have suffered various forms of violence and exploitation. Nonetheless, the fulfilment of these rights is merely obligatory, and the government cannot be forced to provide these rights. These provisions are non-justiciable as courts are precluded from enforcing the rights enshrined in Chapter II of the Constitution138 and in many cases the government avoids its responsibility in the guise of unavailable resources to adequately meet these needs.

This notwithstanding, since the rights contained in Chapter II of the Constitution are intertwined with other fundamental rights contained in Chapter IV of the Constitution such as the rights to life, dignity and personal liberty, to be free from torture, inhumane and degrading treatment, and freedom of movement. It can be argued that the constant violations of the rights contained under Chapter II affects the child's civic rights contained under Chapter IV of the Constitution.139 As such, the provisions in Chapter IV, particularly the rights to life and human dignity, could be utilised in realising the child's right to survive and develop in terms of ensuring shelter, food security, welfare, health care and education, and protecting them from abuse, neglect and torture.

4.2.2 The Child Rights Act

The Child Rights Act of 2003 (CRA) safeguards and promotes the rights of every child in Nigeria. It was passed into law in 2003.140 The CRA, being a federal law, is only effective if States in Nigeria adopt it into their laws. So far 31 out of the 36 states have adopted the law.141

The CRA provides that ‘[E]very child has a right to survival and development.’142 It contains provisions similar to the CRC and ACRWC, tailored to promote children's survival and development, including provisions that the best interests of the child143 and children's rights to dignity,144 health,145 education,146 special protection measures,147 and protection from all forms of exploitation148 and are respected. It is therefore imperative they are accorded access to basic services for the full realisation of these rights in all circumstances, including armed situations.149 With reference to armed conflict, section 34 of the CRA prohibits the recruitment of a child or their involvement in any military operation or hostilities. It requires the Government or any relevant agency to ensure that no child is directly involved in armed conflict.

It is noteworthy that the phrase ‘to the maximum extent possible’ in the CRC and ACRWC is not included in the CRA. Arguably, this means that the child's right to survival and development in the CRA cannot be limited. However, a shortcoming of the implementation of the right is that three of the five states in the conflict zone are yet to adopt the right.150 As such, the provisions of the CRA are not applicable to these states. Also, like most legislative provisions in Nigeria, it is merely prescriptive as the provisions do not further provide mechanisms or strategies to address these issues. In contrast, children's legislation in other African countries contains such mechanisms. For instance, the Kenyan Children Act No. 29 of 2022 provides similar provisions as in the CRA but provides further protection as well as the rehabilitation and care of children who have been victims of hostilities, and their re-integration into a normal social life.151 These provisions in the Kenyan Act are commendable, as they bring to the fore the relevance of putting the rights of children first through the best interests mechanism to adequately provide protection for the survival and developmental rights of children in Kenya. Intrinsically, Nigeria could draw lessons from Kenya in this regard. Even more so, in that Nigeria has failed to adequately concretise the recommendations of the African Committee of Experts and adopt children specific measures to ensure the protection of children in North-Eastern Nigeria.

4.2.3 Other protective measures to protect the Child's survival and development in Nigeria in the wake of Boko Haram

The Nigerian government has intensified its efforts to stop human rights violations perpetuated by Boko Haram by the passing into law the Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Act (TPAA) 2013. Section 1 of the Act prohibits any act of terrorism, and the activities of Boko Haram can be conveniently classified as such. The move to enact the TPAA is commendable, albeit it does not adequately address the protection of children's rights in cases of armed conflicts, especially as the law is meant to deter potential perpetrators from acts of terrorism.

Additionally, in April 2012 Nigeria ratified the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (Kampala Convention) 2012. The Kampala Convention addresses internal displacement resulting from armed conflicts and other forms of public emergencies. Due to the dualist nature of the Nigerian system of government, the convention needs to be domesticated.152 Sadly, since 2012 Nigeria is yet to domesticate the Kampala Convention to adequately address the needs of internally displaced persons in Nigeria. A law or policy to that effect is required, considering that there are many internally displaced persons in Nigeria especially on account of the Boko Haram insurgency. This notwithstanding, a policy for the protection of internally displaced persons was passed in2012153 The policy aims to strengthen institutional mechanisms and frameworks for the realisation of the rights, dignity, and well-being of the vulnerable population as well as address the root causes of internal displacement, mitigate its impact, and achieve durable solutions in Nigeria. There is therefore a need for a legal framework to adequately provide protection for the rights of children, especially in cases of armed conflicts as well as children living in IDP camps who, after the atrocities they face because of the activities of Boko Haram, live in deplorable conditions, and suffer grave violations of their survival and development rights in the camps.

The agency responsible for disaster management in Nigeria is the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). In 2018, it established a National Disaster Risk Management Policy, to address underserved arears not initially covered, including internally displaced persons. It has been argued that most of the humanitarian assistance provided by NEMA has been initiated on the preconceived notion of general humanitarian needs of internally displaced persons, neglecting other significant needs such as sustainable livelihood and the specific needs of different categories of internally displaced persons, most notably the elderly, children and persons with disabilities.154 Indeed, internally displaced persons in Nigeria have continually lamented the deplorably poor living conditions which invariably affect their health155and invariably the survival and development rights of the child. Although the term internally displaced persons is used as a collective to include men, women, and children, the issues that pertain to children alone have not been adequately captured by these policies. Hence, children continue to suffer grave violations of their rights in Nigeria. Until issues of children's rights are specifically addressed with the best interests of the child as a mechanism for the promotion of these rights, governmental responses, no matter how strategically placed, will fail to provide the requisite protection for children.

5 Concluding remarks

The Boko Haram insurgency has had negative an impact on the right to survival and development of children in Nigeria. It is therefore imperative that concrete steps are taken by the Nigerian government to adopt measures including laws and policies to address the violation of the right and ensure the well-being of children in Nigeria. In as much as the CRC, ACRWC, CRA, 1999 Constitution and other laws and policies relating to armed conflicts in Nigeria contain provisions enabling the right, the laws require concerted effort on the part of the Nigerian government to ensure they are implemented in a child centred manner. Moreover, most of the laws either lack child specific provisions or are generally prescriptive with no concrete measures to further ensure that the rights are given meaning. As a result, children fall through the cracks and continually experience violations of their rights.

There is therefore the need for an adequate legal framework to holistically provide for the protection of children in conflict-plagued zones in a manner that adequately enables social justice and psychosocial support for these children to enable them to re-integrate into society. In addition, every strategy or policy addressing or relating to the Boko Haram insurgency should contain child-centric provisions to address issues specific to children in armed conflict situations. There is also a need for a consultative forum for children to participate in policies and laws that address issues pertaining to children's rights. The Government should also partner more with humanitarian agencies such as UNICEF and other organisations for support in providing the resources to address the needs of children in conflict zones.

Children affected by conflict should also be provided the best possible opportunities to reclaim and rebuild their lives in the wake of experiences of recruitment, sexual violence, or other trauma. In this regard, sustainable, long-term, community-based rehabilitation and reintegration should be facilitated for victims and survivors. Educational and/or vocational prospects are essential to help such children and their families. There is therefore a need for crisis sensitive planning for education in all states of the federation and the training of teachers to provide such education. Likewise, programmes targeted at providing support for adolescents in conflict or emergency situations should be established. Children and parents should also be provided access to healthcare in humanitarian settings.

At the regional and international levels, the African Union, through the African Committee of Experts, should monitor the implementation of the ACRWC and its attendant laws. In this regard, states should be encouraged to send progress reports to enable the Committee to monitor their progress in terms of implementation.

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1

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997) 426; Clark et al. (2020) 605.

3

It must be noted that vulnerability is context specific. While a child may be vulnerable in one context, he or she may be capable (not vulnerable) in other contexts. In other words, in certain circumstances such as children's participation and agency in decision-making, they may be capable of making informed decisions in consideration to their age and maturity, while in circumstances such as armed conflicts they may be vulnerable. See the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (2016) 3; UNHCR Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme (2007).

5

North-Eastern Nigeria comprises six states, namely Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, and Yobe.

14

Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1924); Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (2007) 3.

17

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (2007) 3.

18

Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1948).

19

Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1948) principles 1 and 2.

20

United Nations General Assembly (1948). The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted by General Assembly Resolution 217 A(III) on 10 December 1948.

21

United Nations General Assembly (1948) article 25 (1).

22

United Nations General Assembly (1948) article 25 (2).

24

United Nations General Assembly (1959).

25

Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) 28 ILM 1456.

27

Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), article 6 (1) and (2).

31

United Nations Commission on Human Rights (1988) para. 19; Hodgson (1994) 383; Detrick (1999) 131; Vandenhole et al. (2019) para. 6.09.

35

See for instance Declaration on the Right to Development (1986) article 1; Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (1993) article 2; International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1976) article 1; African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (1982) article 22; Arab Charter on Human Rights (2005).

38

CRC Committee (2003) para. 12.

39

Vandenhole et al. (2019) para. 6.13–6.14.

41

Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) article 6; Dutschke and Abrahams (2006) 1.

42

United Nations Commission on Human Rights (1988) para. 17; Hodgson (1994) 386; Detrick (1999) 120; Vandenhole et al. (2019) para. 6.02.

66

Emordi (2014) 14; Maiangwa and Agbiboa (2014) 52; United Nations (2015) paras. 29 and 38–44; Nnama et al. (2018) 35–37; Onapajo (2020) 7–8.

67

Onapajo (2020) 8; link2 4; UNODC (2022).

69

International Organization for Migration (2022).

79

Awortu (2015); United Nations (2015) para. 47.

84

Australian Human Rights Commission.

85

Australian Human Rights Commission.

86

Council of Europe.

87

United Nations Treaty Series.

88

Child Rights International Network (2018).

89

Child Rights International Network (2018).

90

African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, ‘Nigeria’.

91

Sutherland (2015) 273 and 293.

96

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997) 424.

97

African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, General Comment No. 5, para 4.3.

98

African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, General Comment No. 5, para 4.3.

100

CRC Committee, General comment No. 7 (2006), para 10.

101

African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, General Comment No. 5, para 4.3.

104

Committee on the Rights of the Child, General comment No. (2006) 7, para 12.

107

Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) article 24 (1); African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (1990) article 14 (1).

108

African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (1990) article 14 (2).

109

CRC Committee, General comment No. 7 (2006) para 10.

110

Concluding Recommendations by the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) on the Republic of Mozambique Report on the Status of Implementation of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (2022) para 15; Concluding Recommendations by the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) on the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Combined Initial, First, Second and Third Periodic Report on the Status of Implementation of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (2015) para 16.

111

Concluding Recommendations by the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) on the Republic of Mozambique Report on the Status of Implementation of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (2022) para 15; Concluding Recommendations by the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) on the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Combined Initial, First, Second and Third Periodic Report on the Status of Implementation of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (2015) para 16.

112

Concluding Observations and Recommendations of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) on the Initial Report of the Republic of Benin on the Status of the Implementation of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (2019) para 16.

113

Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) article 3 (1); African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (1990) article 11 (1).

114

CRC Committee, General Comment No. 14 (2013), para. 4.

115

CRC Committee, 2013, General comment No. 14 (2013), para 42.

116

Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) article 31; African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (1990) article 12.

117

Committee on the Rights of the Child, General comment No. 1 (2001) para. 8.

118

CRC Committee, General comment No. 1 (2001) para. 9.

119

CRC Committee, General comment No. 14 (2013) para. 17.

120

CRC Committee, General comment No. 14 (2013) para. 18.

121

African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (1990), article 11 (1) and 2 (a). See also the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) articles 28 (1) and 24 (1) (a).

122

CRC Committee, General comment No. 7 (2006) para 10.

123

African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (1990) article (3) (e).

124

Concluding Observations and Recommendations of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child to the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on its Periodic Report on the Implementation of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (2019) para. 16 and 26.

125

Concluding Observations and Recommendations of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child to the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on its Periodic Report on the Implementation of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (2019) para. 16 and 26 (d).

126

African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (1990) article 22.

127

Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) article 38.

128

Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) articles 37 and 34; African Charter on the Rights and welfare of the Child (1990) article 25.

129

CRC Committee, General comment No. 13 (2011) para. 15.

130

Concluding Recommendations by the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) on the Republic of Mozambique Report on the Status of Implementation of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (2022) para 15.

131

Concluding Observations and Recommendations of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child to the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on its Periodic Report on the Implementation of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (2019) para. 16.

132

Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) (2005) article 11(4).

133

Concluding Recommendations by the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) on the Republic of Mozambique Report on the Status of Implementation of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (2022) para 15.

134

The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), section 16 (2).

135

The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, section 17 (3) (d).

136

The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, section 17 (3) (f).

137

The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, section 18 (1).

138

The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, section 6 (6) (c). The purport of this section is that aggrieved citizens cannot compel the government to fulfil its role under Chapter II.

139

The rights contained under the chapter are the right to life (section 33), the right to dignity of human person (section 34), the right to personal liberty (section 35), to family life and privacy (section 37) and the right to freedom of movement (section 41).

142

Child's Rights Act (2003), Cap. C.50, Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004, section 4.

143

Child's Rights Act (2003) section 1.

144

Child's Rights Act (2003) section 11.

145

Child's Rights Act (2003) section 13.

146

Child's Rights Act (2003) section 15.

147

Child's Rights Act (2003) section 16.

148

Child's Rights Act (2003) sections 32 and 33.

149

for instance, the need for Government to provide gender-sensitive, responsive and sustainable healthcare services to the vulnerable, is highlighted in the guiding principles of the National Health Policy (2016) paragraph 3.4.2.

150

Adamawa and Bauchi have passed bills for the Act, but the bills are yet to be assented to while Gombe have neither passed nor assented to the law. See Partners West Africa Nigeria.

151

Children Act No. 29 of 2022, section 19.

152

The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, section 12.

153

National Policy on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Nigeria (2012).

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Senior editors

Editor-in-Chief: 

  • Éva JAKAB (Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church, Department of Civil Law and Roman Law, head of Doctoral School of Political Science and Law, Hungary)

Editors:

  • Fruzsina GÁRDOS-OROSZ (HUN-REN Centre for Social Sciences, Institute for Legal Studies, Hungary; Eötvös Loránd University, Faculty of Law, Hungary)
  • Miklós KÖNCZÖL (HUN-REN Centre for Social Sciences, Institute for Legal Studies, Hungary; Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Faculty of Law and Political Sciences, Hungary)
  • Viktor LŐRINCZ (HUN-REN Centre for Social Sciences, Institute for Legal Studies, Hungary)
  • Tamás HOFFMANN (HUN-REN Centre for Social Sciences, Institute for Legal Studies, HU; Corvinus University of Budapest, Institute of International, Political and Regional Studies / Department of International Relations, Hungary)
  • Eszter KOVÁCS SZITKAY (HUN-REN Centre for Social Sciences, Institute for Legal Studies, HUNGARY; Ludovika University of Public Service, Doctoral School of Law Enforcement, Hungary)

Editorial Board

  • Attila BADÓ (University of Szeged, Faculty of Law and Political Sciences, Hungary)
  • Mátyás BÓDIG (University of Aberdeen, King's College, School of Law, United Kingdom)
  • Zoltán CSEHI (Eötvös Loránd University, Faculty of Law, Hungary; Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Faculty of Law and Political Sciences, Hungary)
  • Péter CSERNE (University of Aberdeen, King's College, School of Law, United Kingdom)
  • Balázs GELLÉR (Eötvös Loránd University, Faculty of Law, Hungary)
  • András JAKAB (Paris Lodron Universität Salzburg, Faculty of Law, Business and Economics, Austria)
  • Miodrag JOVANOVIĆ (University of Belgrade, Faculty of Law, Serbia)
  • Miklós KIRÁLY (Eötvös Loránd University, Faculty of Law, Hungary)
  • György KISS (National University of Public Service, Faculty of Public Governance and International Studies, HUNGARY; University of Pécs, Faculty of Law, Hungary)
  • Jan KUDRNA (Charles University, Faculty of Law, Czech Republic)
  • Herbert KÜPPER (Institut für Ostrecht, DE; Andrássy Universität, Chair of European Public Law, Hungary)
  • Konrad LACHMAYER (Sigmund Freud University, Faculty of Law, Austria)
  • Andzrej Stanislaw MĄCZYŃSKI (Jagiellonian University, Faculty of Law and Administration, Poland)
  • Guido PFEIFER (Goethe University, Faculty of Law, Germany)
  • Miklós SZABÓ (University of Miskolc, Faculty of Law, Hungary)
  • Zoltán SZENTE (HUN-REN Centre for Social Sciences, Institute for Legal Studies, Hungary)
  • G.J.J. Heerma VAN VOSS (Leiden University, Institute of Public Law; Labour Law and Social Security, Netherlands)
  • Bernd WAAS (Goethe University, Faculty of Law, Germany)
  • Fryderyk ZOLL (University of Osnabrück, European Legal Studies Institute, Germany)

Advisory Board

  • Péter ERDŐ
  • Gábor HAMZA
  • Attila HARMATHY
  • László KECSKÉS
  • Tibor KIRÁLY
  • László KORINEK
  • László SÓLYOM
  • Lajos VÉKÁS
  • Imre VÖRÖS

Hungarian Journal of Legal Studies
P.O. Box 25
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Phone: (36 1) 355 7384
Fax. (36 1) 375 7858
E-mail: acta.juridica@tk.mta.hu

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2022  
Web of Science  
Total Cites
WoS
not indexed
Journal Impact Factor not indexed
Rank by Impact Factor

not indexed

Impact Factor
without
Journal Self Cites
not indexed
5 Year
Impact Factor
not indexed
Journal Citation Indicator not indexed
Rank by Journal Citation Indicator

not indexed

Scimago  
Scimago
H-index
4
Scimago
Journal Rank
0.129
Scimago Quartile Score

Law Q4

Scopus  
Scopus
Cite Score
0.3
Scopus
CIte Score Rank
Law 687/885 (22nd PCTL)
Scopus
SNIP
0.132

2021  
Web of Science  
Total Cites
WoS
not indexed
Journal Impact Factor not indexed
Rank by Impact Factor not indexed
Impact Factor
without
Journal Self Cites
not indexed
5 Year
Impact Factor
not indexed
Journal Citation Indicator not indexed
Rank by Journal Citation Indicator not indexed
Scimago  
Scimago
H-index
4
Scimago
Journal Rank
0,109
Scimago Quartile Score Law (Q4)
Scopus  
Scopus
Cite Score
0,4
Scopus
CIte Score Rank
Law 530/801 (Q3)
Scopus
SNIP
0,076

2020  
Scimago
H-index
3
Scimago
Journal Rank
0,158
Scimago
Quartile Score
Law Q3
Scopus
Cite Score
40/78=0,5
Scopus
Cite Score Rank
Law 447/722 (Q3)
Scopus
SNIP
0,202
Scopus
Cites
12
Scopus
Documents
0
Acceptance
Rate
84%

 

2019  
Scimago
H-index
2
Scimago
Journal Rank
0,128
Scimago
Quartile Score
Law Q3
Scopus
Cite Score
31/88=0,4
Scopus
Cite Score Rank
Law 480/685 (Q3)
Scopus
SNIP
0,247
Scopus
Cites
22
Scopus
Documents
2
Acceptance
Rate
8%

 

Hungarian Journal of Legal Studies
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Hungarian Journal of Legal Studies
Language English
Size B5
Year of
Foundation
2016 (1959)
Volumes
per Year
1
Issues
per Year
4
Founder Magyar Tudományos Akadémia  
Founder's
Address
H-1051 Budapest, Hungary, Széchenyi István tér 9.
Publisher Akadémiai Kiadó
Publisher's
Address
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
Responsible
Publisher
Chief Executive Officer, Akadémiai Kiadó
ISSN 2498-5473 (Print)
ISSN 2560-1067 (Online)