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56 Int'l Soc. Work 3 (2013)

handle is hein.journals/intsocwk56 and id is 1 raw text is: 


                                                       International Social Work
                                                                56(1) 3-6
Editorial                                              @ The Author(s) 2012
                                                Reprints and permission: sagepub.
                                                DOI: 10. 1177/0020872812464330

We  are pleased to serve as guest editors for this special edition produced
under the auspices of the Association of Schools of Social Work in Africa
(ASSWA).   According  to Hessle (2011) the continent lacks locally driven
child related research. He warns of the risk that research from the Global
North subjects local resources to exploitation by using the Global North's
superior material resources; by monopolizing the research questions; by
using the results to promote the researchers' own careers; and by neglecting
practice and policy implementation (p. 2). This edition reflects the views
of colleagues who represent the situation of children in diverse contexts in
sub-Saharan Africa. A unique and interesting addition is an article on child
rights in disasters in the Asia Pacific region and possible lessons that can be
derived for Africa.
   In 1993 the World  Conference  on Human   Rights adopted the Vienna
Declaration and Programme   of Action, which proclaimed, inter alia that,
democracy,  development  and respect for human rights and fundamental
freedoms  are interdependent and mutually reinforcing. In many parts of
Africa lack of democracy  compromises   development  and the culture of
human  rights. There is also a decided link between conflict and human
rights violations. As cogently enunciated by Heyns and Stefiszyn (2006: 1)
conflict is the ever-present shadow, the permanent alternative to human
rights, with poverty, inequality, conflict and human rights violations being
closely intertwined. As children's rights are human rights, these intersec-
tions are highlighted in the articles in this edition.
   Despite the fact that sub-Saharan Africa is now  the world's second
fastest growing region after Asia with a GDP forecast of 5.8% for 2012
(Thouvenot, 2012), it is still the world's poorest region. It has the world's
largest proportion of people living with HIV/AIDS; children orphaned on
account of AIDS;  children who  are the victims of armed conflicts; chil-
dren who  are denied access to education and to health care; and high rates
of infant and child mortality. Africa's recent economic growth disguises
the huge variations in the region, and it begs the question about whether
this growth  will translate into labour-absorbing capacity, democratic
practices, development and enhanced  human  rights, including children's

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