SOAS University of London

Centre on Conflict, Rights and Justice

The (In)exsitence of Legal Orders in the Central African Republic

Marieke Hopman

Date: 6 October 2017Time: 3:00 PM

Finishes: 6 October 2017Time: 4:30 PM

Venue: 21/22 Russell Square Room: T102

Type of Event: Talk

Abstract: The Central African Republic (CAR) has, according to various rankings, been rated the least developed and unhappiest country in the world. CAR has also been ranked the worst country in terms of children’s rights, having the lowest opportunities for youth development and the lowest education achievement in the world. To try to understand the situation for CAR children, Marieke Hopman spent 3 months in the country, conducting field research on the child's right to education. When trying to understand violations of children's rights, there appear to be no legal orders in CAR at all. Although laws and rules could be found on different levels of society, these did not seem to have much legal power. In fact, it seems that the CAR can be best characterized as a society of autonomous individuals.

Biography: Marieke Hopman is a PhD student on children's rights at Maastricht University, the Netherlands. In her work, she tries to design a different way of understanding children's rights violations, by analyzing the legal orders surrounding children from a perspective of legal pluralism. Instead of analyzing international conventions and comparing these to national law, court proceedings and de facto reality, she tries to understand the different possible legal orders surrounding children, such as the household, the school, the village and the state, to see how these influence the realization and/or violation of children’s rights. Her research tests this new theoretical approach in different socio-political situations - including Central African Republic - and applies it to different children's rights articles, on which she gathers empirical data through field research. Marieke holds a BA and MA degree in philosophy.

Organiser: Phil Clark

Contact email: