Do Our Children Have Rights? Children’s Rights in the Unrecognised State of Somaliland

Supervisor: Prof. dr. Fons Coomans
Co-supervisor: Dr. Marieke Hopman

Keywords: children, rights, unrecognised states, Somaliland

This research studies children’s rights in Somaliland, an unrecognized State in the Horn of Africa. Using a legal doctrinal methodology that combines descriptive and evaluative approaches, it studies the applicability of international child (human) rights laws in the unrecognized State of Somaliland. It evaluates how the domestic laws of Somaliland protect or do not protect children’s rights. Currently, the prevailing narrative concerning child (human) rights is centred on (recognized) States, the implementation of human rights obligations, and the role of non-state actors. Activists and researchers often examine if a particular State has signed a particular treaty and, if the answer is yes, whether the obligations therein have been fulfilled. This research aims to fill the gap by focusing on an unrecognized State from the perspective of international law, in particular international human rights law, concerning the unrecognized State and the recognized State as well as from the perspective of national law.