AFRICAN CHARTER ON THE RIGHTS AND WELFARE OF THE CHILD
PREAMBLE
The African Member States of the Organization of African Unity, Parties to the present Charter entitled African
Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child,
CONSIDERING that the Charter of the Organization of African Unity recognizes the paramountcy of Human
Rights and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights proclaimed and agreed that everyone is entitled to
all the rights and freedoms recognized and guaranteed therein, without distinction of any kind such as race,
ethnic group, colour, sex, language, religion, political or any other opinion, national and social origin, fortune,
birth or other status,
RECALLING the Declaration on the Rights and Welfare of the African Child (AHG/ST.4 Rev.l) adopted by the
Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity, at its Sixteenth Ordinary
Session in Monrovia, Liberia, from 17 to 20 July 1979, recognized the need to take appropriate measures to
promote and protect the rights and welfare of the African Child,
NOTING WITH CONCERN that the situation of most African children, remains critical due to the unique
factors of their socio-economic, cultural, traditional and developmental circumstances, natural disasters, armed
conflicts, exploitation and hunger, and on account of the child’s physical and mental immaturity he/she needs
special safeguards and care,
RECOGNIZING that the child occupies a unique and privileged position in the African society and that for the
full and harmonious development of his personality, the child should grow up in a family environment in an
atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding,
RECOGNIZING that the child, due to the needs of his physical and mental development requires particular
care with regard to health, physical, mental, moral and social development and requires legal protection in
conditions of freedom, dignity and security,
TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION the virtues of their cultural heritage, historical background and the values
of the African civilization which should inspire and characterize their reflection on the concept of the rights and
welfare of the child,
CONSIDERING that the promotion and protection of the rights and welfare of the child also implies the
performance of duties on the part of everyone,
REAFFIRMING ADHERENCE to the principles of the rights and welfare of the child contained in the
declaration, conventions and other instruments of the Organization of African Unity and in the United Nations
and in particular the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child; and the OAU Heads of State and
Government’s Declaration on the Rights and Welfare of the African Child;
HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS:
PART 1
RIGHTS AND DUTIES
CHAPTER ONE
RIGHTS AND WELFARE OF THE CHILD
ARTICLE 1
Obligation of State Parties

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