Human Rights Abuse and Deprivation of Childhood: A Case of Girl Mothers in Northern Uganda
There is widespread consensus among the children’s rights activists, including policy makers, stakeholders from the child protection sector and academics, among others, on the critical importance of addressing the protection and promotion of the rights of the girl child. Girls still bear the worst human rights abuses during armed conflict and after (Mazurana and Carlson 2006). Using the case of the Gulu District in Uganda, this paper assesses how human rights abuses deprived girl mothers of their childhood. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) (1989) considers childhood as a separate space from adulthood and recognizes that what is appropriate for an adult may not be suitable for a child. Despite the intellectual debate about the definition of childhood and cultural differences about what to expect for and from children, there has been always a substantial degree of shared understanding that childhood implies a separate and safe space demarcated from adulthood in which children can grow, play and develop (UNICEF 2007). Childhood means more than just the time between birth and the attainment of adulthood. It also refers to the state and condition of a child’s life, to the quality of those years. Childhood is also understood as the early phase of the life course of all people in all societies. It is characterized by rapid physiological and psychological development, and represents the beginning of the process of maturation to adulthood (James and James 2012).
- Social Sciences