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AN EVALUATION OF THE ADEQUACY OF THE AFRICAN CHARTER ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD CONCERNING ECONOMIC CRIMES IN ARMED CONFLICT, PP. 58 - 79

Statistics indicate that at least one in every four African children lives in a conflict zone. Six of the ten worst countries for children to grow up in, or live in, are in Africa: the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia and South Sudan. It is widely observed that economic crimes continue to disrupt the political, social and economic fabric of society. This is exacerbated where there is armed conflict and armed groups continue to use children as a tool to benefit them through illegal acts that lead to financial advantages. This narrative that has been evident in areas of conflict across Africa creates the need to interrogate the effect of economic crimes.

While there is a lot of traction by the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (Committee) towards the protection of children affected by armed conflict, the contextual issue of economic crimes requires close evaluation. To this end, this article looks at economic crimes in armed conflict as a thematic issue and draws on statistics and experiences across Africa. This is followed by a contextualisation of children affected by armed conflict. An evaluation of the Committee’s normative framework, jurisprudence and emerging activities is undertaken to draw insights on engaging economic crime. In the final analysis, a model that places the abused child at the centre of any proposed interventions is proposed.

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