Title page for ETD etd-05252012-131019

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Okon, Ekanem
Email mmaeyen@gmail.com
URN etd-05252012-131019
Document Title Protection of the right to a family within the context of separated and unaccompanied children in natural disasters
Degree LLM
Department Private Law
Advisor Name Title
Prof A Skelton Supervisor
  • moratoriums
  • intercountry adoption
  • functions of the family
  • family
  • best interests
  • adoptability
  • abandoned children
  • separation
  • street children
  • separated children
  • orphans
  • protection
  • residential care
  • right to a family
  • unaccompanied children
  • natural disasters
Date 2012-04-11
Availability unrestricted
The years 2010 and 2011 recorded a number of incidents of natural disasters around the globe. These disasters resulted in death, injuries and loss of family members. Children, a vulnerable group of persons, found themselves caught up in the chaos of the natural disasters. Some children lost family members, others became separated from their families and caregiver(s) as a result of the disaster, and those who were "alone" prior to the natural disasters became completely exposed to serious physical and psychological harm. Yet, every child has the right to a family.

States have a duty to protect separated and unaccompanied children. Such protection involves prevention of separation, assessment of the child's situation, registration, documentation, family tracing, verification and reunification, emergency care arrangements, and permanent care arrangements. Based on the premise that every child has a right to grow up in a family environment this dissertation attempts to answer the question: How can separated children and unaccompanied children, in the African context, be protected in the event of natural disasters such that their right to a family is promoted and protected? In so doing, it presents an explanation of the concepts of separated children and unaccompanied children through investigation xii into the practical effects of separation on children. It also presents discussions on the concept "natural disasters" and some of the effects of natural disasters on separated children and unaccompanied children. There is an attempt at defining the concept "family" based on its internal and external constitution and function, and a consideration of the needs which a family should satisfy in a child. Familial rights enjoyed by children are presented and analysed as rights which exist under the canopy of the "right to a family". In line with the Interagency Guiding Principles, the different stages of protection in natural disasters are highlighted and particular attention is given to intercountry adoption and the implications of placing moratoriums on intercountry adoptions at different stages of the intercountry adoption process, following events of natural disasters. The study stresses the need to balance the importance of protecting the child with the need to provide the child with a permanent family.

Copyright 2011, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria

Please cite as follows:

Okon, E 2011, Protection of the right to a family within the context of separated and unaccompanied children in natural disasters, LLM dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-05252012-131019/ >


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