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20 Nigerian L.J. 364 (2017)
Children's Participation Right in the Changing Faces of Family Laws

handle is hein.journals/nlj20 and id is 373 raw text is: 

Children's  Participation  Right  in the  Changing   Faces  of
Family  Law

Hadiza  0. Okunrobo'

      The issue as to whether children are holders of rights
      has been  a subject of great debate by  scholars in
      sociology and law. These  debates relate to whether
      children only  have  an interest which  should  be
      protected or a choice which can be exercised as right
      holders. The  choice of  exercising this interest is
      inherent in the child's right to participation which
      entails a right to express a view especially in areas of
      decision making  relating to custody  and  medical
      treatment. This paper  identifies three eras in the
      metamorphosis  of  this right namely:  the eras  of
      paternalism,  child  protection  and   civil rights
      movement.  These  normative focus  in these periods
      shifted  from   institution-centred to   individual
      ascription of rights. Presently, even though issues of
      child welfare are engaged on the platform of rights,
      there is controversy as to whether  a child should
      participate in decisions concerning his custody and
      medical treatment. This paper argues that, adopting a
      right based approach which  recognises the evolving
      competence  of the child and allows the involvement
      of children in decision  making  in  these respects
      accords with international human rights practices.

1.     Introduction
Over the last years, children's rights have acquired an evolving,
yet discrete, core of its own. This focus reflects and influences
societal views of what constitutes childhood, and at what point a
child acquires a status to be ascribed with autonomous  rights.
Nevertheless, some of the debates that have evolved over time
surrounded  the  dichotomy   drawn  between   the  concept  of
childhood and  adulthood to create legal obligations which had

*  LL.B, LL.M, Department of Public Law, Faculty of Law, University of
   Benin, Benin City Nigeria. email:hadiza.okunrobo@uniben.edu

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