Study Session 2
The laws of Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda protect children from harmful cultural practices in the following ways:
Ethiopia: legislation prohibits ‘forms of harmful traditional practice such as uvula and tonsil scraping and female genital mutilation’.
Kenya: ‘no person shall subject a child to female circumcision, early marriage or other cultural rites, customs or traditional practices that are likely to negatively affect the child’s life, health, social welfare, dignity or physical or psychological development’.
Tanzania: ‘a person shall not subject a child to torture, or other cruel, inhuman punishment or degrading treatment including any cultural practice which dehumanises or is injurious to the physical and mental well-being of a child’.
Uganda: ‘bans subjecting a child to social or customary practices that are harmful to their health’.
Your answer about why it is important for you as a health practitioner to know about law and policy could have included:
- To ensure your practice is legal and ethical.
- To understand the rights of children and how they are supported by law.
- To be able to share your knowledge with children and parents about what rights they have under the law.
- To be able to follow the correct procedures when you have a concern about a child (for example, in relation to violence).
- To understand the extent to which children and young people can make decisions for themselves given the correct information.
This is the responsibility of both government and a child’s parent or guardian.