CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background of the Study
In our world nowadays there are many more international, regional, sub-regional, and most often bilateral agreements having the status and names of a treaty, conventions, acts, resolutions, declarations, understanding …etc. being made depending on the type and purpose of the agreement concluded. These different right and duty bearer instruments may touch different aspects of citizens’ life based on their purpose they are concluded for. Thus, treaty or agreement can be either an issue of economic growth, diplomatic ties, universal human right protection, counter-terrorism cooperation, or environmental issues of climate change that needs an international cooperation. This research among the issues will try to see the human right protection of children as a child right is one of the basic corners by which human right and other right based international and national laws are precast to address.
There are masses of human rights law both treaty and soft laws, general and child-specific, which recognizes the distinct status and particular requirements of children owing to their vulnerability and significance as the future generations. Children rights are the human rights of children with particular attention to the rights of special protection and care afforded to minors. Children need a differential treatment of women, refugees, persons with disability, etc. merely because their situation is not similar with that of an adult person.
The 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) defines a child as any human being below the age of eighteen years, unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier. The convention is meant to protect child rights to association with both parents, identity, physical protection, food, universal state-paid education, health care, criminal law appropriate for the age, equal protection of the child civil right and freedom from discrimination on the basis of the child’s race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, disability, color, ethnicity or other characteristics. It is signed and ratified by many states in the world with the exception of USA and Somalia. However, though this convention is signed and ratified by many states, the problem of less child right protection and in effect, child vulnerability to every hostile condition is increasing from time to time putting the goal of the convention infeasible to attain. From the states who signed the convention those countries with poor economic development are more prone to abuse child rights than the rich countries as a result of the different challenges situation, they are in.
Ethiopia, as one of the third world states, is not an exception in the blame for less attention giving for a child right. The violation of the right take many forms and among these: child trafficking, child labor, early marriage…etc. are mentionable. Child migration in Ethiopia is the growing problem and rural poverty forces parents to hand over their children to recruits who promise either employment, education, or better lives. Both boys and girls are vulnerable to recruitment by brokers. Most of the boys are trafficked from the southern parts of the country for the purpose of labor exploitation in the traditional weaving while girls are trafficked for domestic labor exploitation and prostitution. Every year the huge number of children being trafficked from the Southern Nation, Nationalities, and Peoples Regional State to Addis Ababa. A study conducted by MCDP on child trafficking in Chencha Woreda revealed that children are mainly trafficked from this area for the purpose of engaging them in weaving activities.
As indicated in the Gamogofa zone administration report in 2014, movement of children across zonal boundaries is a common phenomenon where children migrate to towns. A huge number of young children become dropout of school and suffer from economic and social crises by becoming a street child. The trafficking of children from Chencha and Dita woredas in the SNNPR is becoming a serious problem and reducing this problem is a critical and primary issue to save children from different potential risks and giving due consideration for the next generation. Therefore, with the aim to assess and address the wider legal and practical gaps on the child protection systems with special reference to the Ethiopian case, this research is named ?Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Role on Halting Child Trafficking in Ethiopia: the case of Chencha and Dita Woredas in SNNPR.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The protection given for child right is not this much satisfying despite the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is ratified by many states in the world. The Convention has many details of rights that need to be protected so that at least basic child needs to grow, to learn, to know a family, to be represented on things affecting their interest … etc. will be realized. The signatory states after ratifying will make the convention part of their domestic laws to put the child rights on the implementation ground. However, many of child rights are not strictly observed by the concerning bodies of states in many countries and the problem of non-implementation is much more intense in the poor and underdeveloped states that the developed states.
Ethiopia, as one of the poorest nations, usually experiences the less observation of child right as a critical problem. The violation of child right took many forms and among these; problems related to nutrition, education, housing, clothing, parental ties … etc. are mentionable. This research specifically deals with the issue of child trafficking as one of child rights violation in Ethiopia and the role of Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in halting such problems. For the purpose of the research the two most known child trafficking areas, Chencha and Dita woredas, are selected from Southern Nation, Nationalities, and Peoples Regional State in Ethiopia. These areas are known for their weaving culture among other places in the Gamogofa zone in SNNPR. Many of the children from these areas are illegally trafficked to Addis Ababa to be confined on weaving business to their master for whom they serve more than eight hours a day for no or lesser payment under challenging conditions. Most of those child victims escape from such confinement and again suffer in wondering for a better job, residence, and food; however, usually end up in becoming a street child. These and other harsh conditions happen to children while the country is a signatory to the CRC and adopted it under its municipal laws of different hierarchy.
Despite the existence of such international and national laws, the violations of child right are increasing from time to time and the scale of child trafficking from these areas to the capital and many towns is growing in an alarming rate. There is no legal research made so far on issues of illegal child trafficking in Ethiopia with a special focus on the international legal instruments such as CRC and municipal laws such as the constitution and other subordinate laws. So far the ‘Cause and Consequence of Child Trafficking’ and other similar researches are made in social fields such as developmental management and leadership study. Under this research, the researcher aims to dig out the roles of CRC and other related municipal laws in stopping child trafficking from legal, institutional, and functional viewpoints.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
1.3.1 General Objective
The general objective of this research is to explore the legal and normative framework gaps, both in the international and national laws, in protecting child right with special reference to Ethiopian experience in order to call the attention of policymakers and other concerned organs towards the challenge of child trafficking.
1.3.2 Specific Objectives
This study has the following specific objectives on the move to address the general objective:
1. To assess the level of understanding about the child right protection among the community.
2. To know the current practice of organs entrusted with the power to educate, supervise, facilitate child right protection and implementation.
3. To explore the international and national systems of child right protection.
4. To specify types of problems facing children in the process of trafficking.
5. To evaluate the law and the practice of child right in the selected areas.
6. To depict the challenges in the implementation of child right protecting laws.
7. To check the institutional setups in the implementation of child rights laws.
8. To know the push and pull factors in the child trafficking activity.
1.4 Basic Research Questions and Hypothesis
The questions are prepared in a way to answer the issues that the researcher promised to address on the introduction and objectives. It would reflect those significances aimed to be achieved by this research work to the users. Some of the questions are listed here below as follows;
1. What roles do the governments owe to protect child right?
2. What is structural setup there to protect rights of the child in Ethiopia?
3. What are the pushing and pulling factors for child trafficking in Ethiopia?
4. What are the basic standards of rights child needs to attain?
5. Why are the CRC and other municipal laws unable to stop the child right violation on the ground?
6. What possible challenges do children suffer from child trafficking?
7. What remedies are available for trafficked children after being victimized by trafficking activity? And other detail questions of different nature will be raised and thoroughly addressed in this research work.
1.4.1 Research Hypothesis
It is known that hypothesis is central to any research endeavors, whether qualitative or quantitative, exploratory or explanatory. In its nature, the research hypothesis states what the researcher expects to find after the research work. Therefore, it could be hypothesized that lack of legal implementation, the functional weakness of the concerned institutions, and the gaps within the laws are contributed to the violation of child rights. Thus, as a hypothesis, the researcher thinks that the firm legal implementation, the building of stronger workforce who can functionally strengthen the institutions and fill the gaps in the laws will solve the problems of child rights violation.
1.5 Significance of the Study
The research will have significance on understanding child trafficking in Ethiopia with a special focus on factors agitating for the trafficking and will show where the problem lies in implementing the child right protecting laws. Depicting the gaps in a child right protecting laws so as to put the legal provisions on the ground is also one of the importance of this study. It would also be expected to be a further reference and lead the would-be researchers by showing ways of where the problem lies and how the potential solution will address the said problem.
The preparation of this research is based on both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection. Consulting international legal and normative frameworks on the human right with the aim to explore child right is made with a deep look into international conventions, treaties, protocols, and declarations. Special reference is also made to fetch child right protecting norms from national constitution, subordinate laws, and policy instruments. The library materials such as books, publications, and articles are reviewed in addition to journals and specific internet browsing pages on top of all the available information gathered from the formal and informal office contacts. Thus, it is both primary and secondary sources of data the researcher has been engaged on.
1.6.1 Research Design
The combination of both qualitative and quantitative research method provides the best answer to research questions because each research method is well- matched to answering certain types of questions, but not appropriate to answering other types. Both methods have their own advantage and disadvantage. While qualitative research provides a richer and more in-depth insight of the population under study, the quantitative research allows the researcher to compare results of the findings from the sample population. Therefore, the researcher by employing both methods would be able to answer questions that are not answered by either method alone.
1.6.2 Sampling Methods
Sample selection depends on the population size, its homogeneity, cost of use, and the degree of precision required. The population selected to participate in the sample are the returnee children after being trafficked, potential victims, the victim’s parents, the school community, child right protecting government offices, the NGOs working on child right protection, road, and transport authority, and the justice institutes such as police stations, attorney offices, and courts. The considerations in sampling took a number of elements such as time, cost, the need for precision, heterogeneity of the population, response rate, as well as nature of the study.
The researcher used probability and representative sampling in selecting population among the victim children and their parents. The purposive sampling method is used for selecting the concerned organs to be interviewed among the many governmental and non-governmental organizations. This is more likely to achieve a precise, time-saving, and reliable answers from the concerned stakeholders.
A total sample size of 30 victim children, 70 potentially trafficked children, 25 parents, 8 primary and secondary cycle schools, 8 rural and urban kebeles, 12 governmental organization, and 4 NGOs are proportionally selected from the intended group in Chencha and Dita woredas, besides three community meetings made in the villages of the woredas.
1.6.3 Methods of Data Collection
126.96.36.199 Primary Sources
Accessing international legal and normative frameworks on the human right with the objective to discover child right is made hierarchically into different international instruments. Special reference is also made to the domestic constitution, subsidiary laws, and policy documents. The study employed fieldwork consisting of field stay of weeks in interviewing returnee migrants, focus group discussion, meeting kebele leaders, local elders, knowledgeable persons, and selected key informants. The information obtained from them were used for qualitative analysis. Experts from the sectorial office of the two weredas and NGO workers were also interviewed in detail.
188.8.131.52 Secondary Sources
In order to substantiate information obtained from the primary sources of individual interviews, the socio-economic and demographic data from the CSA and materials available at the woreda offices were consulted. Research outputs from different child right works were extensively referred so as to enrich the theoretical background of the study.
1.6.4 Methods of Data Analysis
The analysis techniques were performed by using descriptive statistics such as frequencies and percentages to present results. For qualitative data, the opinion gathered through open ended and close ended questionnaire, key informants interviews, and focus group discussions were organized and triangulated with quantitative data to suit analysis. Based on the nature and substance of the questionnaire, the correlation between the answer for the question and their implication on specific matters is analyzed by giving different verifications. Thus, proportionality and other mathematical equations are used to analyze the detail answers of the interviews. Due emphasis was given to qualitative information and comparison was made among the study communities about their different socio-economic situations that one way or the other influenced the child right protections.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The problem of child trafficking might cover wide areas of the country, but due to time and other constraints the study is limited to places widely known for child trafficking as reported in zonal and woreda level women and child affairs offices and other concerned articles. The problem of child rights violation in Ethiopia can be categorized into many subsections based on the type and nature of the abuse. However, among the many kinds of child rights violations, this research will specifically focus child trafficking in Ethiopia with special reference to Chencha and Dita woredas in Gamogofa zone of SNNPR. The study considered children from the age of five up to eighteen in those selected areas.
1.8 Limitations of the Study
One of the limitations of this study is concerning the availability of pieces of literature. Though a significant amount of scholarly works have been written on CRC and the different types of child rights violations, there is no research made on the topic of child trafficking in particular. Though the researcher tries to figure out some of the basic causes and triggering factors behind the trafficking action, it is difficult to make an extensive and deep scientific analysis on how such events have happened and came about. The unwillingness of some returnee victim children to give a response to certain questions like sexual harassment is also worth mentioning here. There is a limitation in time and resource to go through every part of the country to assess child trafficking areas in Ethiopia and due to this reason, an already known child trafficking areas are selected in the case study format to address the issue.
1.9 Organization of the Research
The study is organized into five chapters based on common themes of the contents. Accordingly, the first chapter is about the background, statement of the problem, scope, and limitation of the study. The second chapter reviews the existing literature, assess different child right related laws, and considers international instruments. The practices of states over the convention will be discussed in this part with special reference to the Ethiopian experience. The third chapter will show the methodology used and the sampling methods and both the qualitative and quantitative data collection methods used in collecting the data and how analysis is made. The fourth chapter interprets the data and show the implications thereof and followed with chapter five, which is the last chapter, dealing with the summary and the recommendation points that need to be focused to realize child right protection on the ground.