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Title: The changing nature of childhood in South Africa and its impact on the street child, with special reference to domestic legislation
Author: Sampson, Rebecca Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 2671 9603
Awarding Body: The University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2008
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The constitutionalisation of children's rights in South Africa has reconfigured normative constructions of childhood in the post-apartheid context. Section 28 of the Final Constitution has reconstructed childhood as a locus of justiciable rights; it is legally protected, a site of empowerment and participation. Every child in South Africa today has been granted a broad spectrum of inalienable rights. However, certain children have found it particularly difficult to access their fundamental rights. The street child population has traditionally been marginalised in South Africa, experiencing pervasive exclusion in both the apartheid and post-apartheid dispensations. The transformative potential of lonstitutionalism has not, as yet, been realised within the street child phenomenon. Direct links can potentially be established between normative constructions of childhood within a society, the conceptualisation of certain groups of children as the peripheral 'other', and the typically negligible legislative provision afforded to such children. This thesis adopts a doctrinal approach in which it is recognised that 'normative' childhood is a social construction. The significant ideological divergence between the socio-legal framework of apartheid and its post-apartheid predecessor provides the compelling context within which the malleable nature of child is analysed. Certain Section 28 rights are examined, facilitating understanding of the differences between childhood during apartheid and its corollary in the post-apartheid dispensation. The exclusion of street children from these legislative developments is explored.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available