Ensuring a Better Protection for Children Deprived of Family Environment: The Application of Subsidiary Principle in Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Children deprived of family environment are the most vulnerable group of society and hence demand special attention and protection. The principle of subsidiarity deals with alternative childcare options for children deprived of family environment based on the provisions provided under the CRC, the ACRWC, the Hague Convention and the UNGA. The provisions clearly put inter-country adoption and institutional childcare options to be considered subsidiary to other domestic family based childcare options. Accordingly, this study first, explores the existing national normative frameworks governing the principle of subsidiarity in Ethiopia. It then discusses the legal and policy gaps based on international child rights instruments ratified by the country. The status of alternative childcare options in Ethiopia has also been discussed based on the national guidelines on alternative childcare options. By using semi-structured interviews and case analysis the thesis further discusses key challenges faced in the implementation of subsidiarity principle. The study finds out that, despite promising progress made by the government of Ethiopia in adopting international child rights instruments and national guidelines, the proper implementation of subsidiarity principle remained major challenge in the country. Besides, the existing normative frameworks on alternative childcare options need legal and policy reforms. Yet, comprehensive legal schemes on alternative childcare options must be adopted by the government to better address the problems. Furthermore, effective implementations on the hierarchy of alternative childcare options through strong monitoring and evaluation on the performance of different stake holders involved on childcares are important. In the process of application, the principle of the best interests of the child should be given the paramount consideration.



Children Deprived of Family