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Thoko Kaime’s 'The Convention on the Rights of the Child: A Cultural Legitimacy Critique' looks at the protection and promotion of children’s rights through a socio-legal examination of the provisions of the world’s pre-eminent children’s rights treaty, the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The book focuses on this singular question: Does the Convention provide a culturally appropriate framework for the protection and promotion of children’s rights across different cultures? In examining this question, the book argues that the effective protection of the rights of the child will not be achieved unless the substantive protections are perceived as culturally legitimate by local communities and unless the implementation procedures are aimed at enhancing such legitimacy as opposed to merely ensuring adherence to form. The book benefits from a methodology that fuses international law methods with grounded anthropological narratives. It demonstrates that far from being abstract paper prescriptions, children’s rights frameworks are but a species of social and cultural interaction and that effective promotion and protection strategies must be alive to this dynamic. The book is a useful introduction to cultural critiques of children’s rights, in particular; and, indeed human rights generally.
Thoko Kaime is Lecturer in Law in the School of Law at the University of Surrey and Senior Teaching Fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He also serves as Deputy Director of the Environmental and Regulatory Research Group at the University of Surrey. He maintains broad interests in the area of public international law and the social critique of law and legal policy. He has written extensively and delivered lectures on children’s rights and their legal and social contexts, focusing on the intersection between law and legitimacy.