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  • Print publication year: 2007
  • Online publication date: October 2009

3 - A Comparative Perspective of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Principles of Islamic Law: Law Reform and Children's Rights in Muslim Jurisdictions



This chapter evaluates the impact of the United Nations Convention on Rights of the Child (CRC) in a selection of Muslim States parties. It will comment on legislative reform initiatives (in addition to existing legal frameworks, statutory provisions and institutional mechanisms) undertaken in Jordan, Mauritania and Morocco affecting child rights, highlighting compatibility or otherwise with substantive provisions of the CRC. Arguing from a socio-legal and law-in-context approach, the chapter will propose a framework for enhanced convergence of the Islamic legal tradition and the CRC to create an enabling environment for child rights in these jurisdictions.


An overview of the status of human rights treaties, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the CRC, presents an interesting pattern of ratification and reservations. Although many countries have ratified with reservations, Muslim countries are unique in the fact that they have specifically identified the Islamic religion and Islamic law as justification for many of these reservations. It is therefore pertinent to initiate the discussion of implementation of the CRC in Muslim jurisdictions by presenting an overview of the conceptual foundations of human rights and child rights in Islam, which to a large extent informs the legal system in Muslim countries.

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