Inter-country Adoption and Children’s Rights: How the African Union Sets Norms and Confronts Challenges Public Deposited

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  • McQuillin, Anna
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of African, African American, and Diaspora Studies
  • In the realm of human rights, the African continent is often framed as a violator in need of guidance and international oversight. Yet, the African Union, and before it the Organization of African Unity, set norms to protect human rights, even aligning the supposed distinct categories of primary and secondary rights into one African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (1981). Pertaining to the rights of children, the OAU/AU regionalized the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in the 1990 African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC). Now, as a hotspot for humanitarian intervention, African states in crisis and in peace deal with heightened global pressure to export the care of vulnerable children to international families through adoption to fulfill the best interests of children. To illustrate these tensions, this paper utilizes the case study of singer and international star Madonna’s adoptions from Malawi and Martha Nussbaum’s (2011) capabilities list. Together, these demonstrate the complexities of providing rights to African children as guaranteed by the ACRWC. The African Union’s handling of various rights challenges pertaining to intercountry adoption exemplifies its role in setting norms to protect children’s rights.
Date of publication
Resource type
  • Article
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
Journal title
  • Global Africana Review
Journal volume
  • 2
Journal issue
  • 1
Page start
  • 11
Page end
  • 21
  • English
Digital collection
  • Global Africana Review
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