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Protecting children from harmful practices in plural legal systems with a special emphasis on Africa

Publication Year: 2016 Publisher: Office of the SRSG on Violence against Children

Background

with a special emphasis on Africa
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<br>Across regions, millions of children continue to suf-fer from various forms of harmful practices, in-cluding female genital mutilation, early and forced marriage, breast ironing, son preference, female infanticide, virginity testing, honour crimes, bond-ed labour, forced feeding and nutritional taboos, accusation of witchcraft, as well as a great num-ber of other less known practices.
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<br>Harmful practices may be traditional or emerg-ing, but generally have some cultural, social or religious underpinning. Common for most harm-ful practices is that they have devastating conse-quences on the child’s life, development, health, education and protection.
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<br>The UN Study on Violence against Children urged states to prohibit by law all forms of violence against children, including harmful practices. This recommendation is a key priority for the man-date of the Special representative of the Secre-tary General on Violence against Children as well as for Plan International. To advance progress in the implementation of this recommendation, they co-organized an expert consultation, in June 2012. This thematic report was informed by those im-portant discussions.