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Table 1 Children’s human rights framework

From: Models of care for orphaned and separated children and upholding children’s rights: cross-sectional evidence from western Kenya

Rights of the Child



Observations in UG County Kenya

Article 7: The child shall be registered after birth and have the right from birth to a name and nationality, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents.

• Name and nationality

• Birth Certificate Knowledge of family and interaction/regular contact with family

• Extremely difficult to obtain birth certificates for children in family-based and institutional care.

• Most children have knowledge of their family in institutional care

Article 8: Right to preserve identity, including nationality, name and family relations

• Name and kinship

• Family Connections Programs

• Family connections important component of institutional and community-based care programming

• Knowledge and memories of personal and family origin

Article 14: Right to freedom of thought, consciences and religion

• Flexibility/space for child’s exploration and expression of different views

• Policy on participation in religious activities

• Compulsory religious education at half of the institutions

• Many institutions are faith-based organizations

Article 17: Right to information

• Ability of the child to access information and knowledge

• Presence of books

• Books rarely available in family-based settings

• Information and education on HIV prevention

• Both families and institutions provide HIV prevention education

• Knowledge of parental/family history

• Children in families and institutions have knowledge of family history

Article 19: Right to be protected from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation

• Protected from any form of maltreatment from caregiver(s)

• The use of corporal punishment to enforce discipline

• Families mainly use corporal punishment as discipline and some institutions; yet it is against the Kenyan constitution

Article 24: Right to health

• Accessible healthcare

• Health insurance

• Children in family-based and institutional care are rarely medically insured

Article 27: Right to a standard of living adequate for the child’s physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development

• Adequate protection from the elements

• Type of shelter

• Institutions more likely to provide basic material needs than families

• Secure dwelling

• Possessing at least one pair of shoes, one blanket, 2 pairs of non-school clothing

• Lower standards of living in family-based care in comparison to institutions

• Basic material needs

• Children lack their own mattress, private cabinet, and blankets in family-based care

• Private cabinet

Article 28: Right to Education

School planning and participation

• School attendance

• Majority of school-aged children attending school in both families and institutions

Article 31: Right to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities

• Flexibility/space for child to play and engage in recreational activities

• Scheduled leisure time

• Toys and games rarely available to children living in family-based care

• Access to toys, games

• Both institutions and families have space or facilities for sports.

• Space or facilities for sports

• Lack of scheduled leisure time for children in family-based care

• Access to equipment

Article 32: Right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child’s education

• Protection from child labour and excessive work

• Household tasks that children assist with

• Children in family-based care assist with many household tasks including firewood and water collection and income generating activities which may interfere with a child’s education as these tasks maybe time consuming.