Are Human Rights an Effective Remedy? Children, Sexual Violence, and Criminal Justice in Ethiopia
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This thesis is an in-depth examination of the rights of child victims of sexual violence seeking legal redress in the Ethiopian criminal justice system. It explores children’s susceptibility to various injustices as they take part in the criminal justice process. These injustices are mainly inherent in gaps in law and lack of effective child-centred enforcement mechanisms. Discriminatory laws based on sex and gender insensitivity among law enforcement and judicial personnel creates additional challenges for female victims as they go through the criminal justice process. Using a human rights-based approach, which is anchored to international human rights principles and mechanisms, this thesis examines how these principles and mechanisms can remedy violations of children’s rights. Looking at Ethiopia’s reporting mechanism as the main monitoring mechanism; this thesis concludes that this is an efficient and effective strategy to pressure the Government of Ethiopia to take the necessary legislative, administrative and judicial measures. Eventually, these measures not only ensure the rights of child victims throughout the criminal justice process but also Ethiopia’s compliance with its international human rights obligations.