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A case study of lived experience of the implementation of Child Rights Act 2003 In Nigeria

Ikeh, Nkiru Chinyere


Nkiru Chinyere Ikeh


Caroline Humphrey


Child rights abuses continue to occur in Nigeria despite the domestication of the global child rights treaty. Some state governments have refused to adopt the Child Rights Act (CRA 2003), which is a requirement for it to become operational. Furthermore, the situation is not much different in compliant states. The implementation of the CRA has been hindered by a lack of resources, coordination issues among multi-agency implementation frameworks, and other factors, leading to many children in Nigeria not receiving the protection and services they are entitled to. This research aimed to explore the implementation of the CRA in Nigeria by analyzing the lived experience of different categories of participants, including parents of children accessing welfare services, welfare workers and administrators, and proprietors of children’s residential homes. The study used Owerri, the capital of Imo State in Nigeria, as a case study and the sample was selected through purposive sampling method. Participants gave their responses during a semi-structured interview and the data was analyzed using the interpretative phenomenological approach of the qualitative research method. The study answered three research questions: (1) What strategies have the Nigerian government put in place to protect children’s rights? (2) How accessible are the Nigerian child welfare services to children in need? (3) Are the Nigerian child welfare decisions based on the best interest of the child? The findings of this study indicate that child welfare programs that should translate the norms and rules of the CRA are poorly resourced, making it difficult for effective implementation. Additionally, coordination of its multi-agency implementation framework is also a challenge. These and other factors have hindered its benefits for child rights holders. The study also highlights several limitations, for example: the sample size was small, the qualitative methodology may not allow for comparisons to be made or statistical analysis performed, the study focused on only one location in Nigeria. Recommendations made include prioritizing capacity building among professionals, strengthening compliance enforcement systems to deter potential offenders, encouraging the involvement of NGOs and strengthening regulatory machinery to prevent abuse.


Ikeh, N. C. (2023). A case study of lived experience of the implementation of Child Rights Act 2003 In Nigeria. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Apr 14, 2023
Publicly Available Date Apr 14, 2023
Keywords Sociology
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Sociology, The University of Hull
Award Date 2023-01


Thesis (1.6 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2023 Nkiru Chinyere Ikeh. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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