‘If parents are punished for asking their children to feed goats’: supervisory neglect in sub-Saharan Africa
Laird, Siobhan (2016) ‘If parents are punished for asking their children to feed goats’: supervisory neglect in sub-Saharan Africa. Journal of Social Work, 16 (3). pp. 303-321. ISSN 1741-296X
Official URL: http://jsw.sagepub.com/content/16/3/303.full
Summary: In the United States and the United Kingdom supervisory neglect of children is premised on a construction of childhood which characterises children as essentially vulnerable and in need of constant care and protection by parents. This Western conception has been transmitted to the countries of the sub-Sahara via the Convention on the Rights of the Child. However, the socio-economic and cultural context of African countries differs significantly from those of the United Kingdom and the United States. The incorporation of a Western hegemonic idea of childhood into the national laws of African countries creates fundamental contradictions in the application of criteria for adjudging the adequacy of parental supervision in the sub-Sahara. Drawing on secondary data, this article explores these contradictions and proposes alternative considerations in the conceptualisation and assessment of supervisory neglect.
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