Towards the Protection of the Rights of the Child to a Family Environment: An Examination of Custody and Guardianship under the Nigerian Law


This paper underscores the need to protect the right of the child to belong to u family It posits that a child born to citizens of Nigeria has globally recognized rights commensurate to rights enjoyed by children in other climes, und which rights are to be protected by the bestrumentality of the law. One of such rights which accrue to the child in Nigeria is the right to belong to a family This work further establishes that this right is not dependent on the state of the union be tween the biological father and mother that is whether they are married, sepa rated or divorced nor is it dependent on the factor of the child being wanted by the biological parents or not or on whether the child is a product of rape. This work therefore highlights the importance of providing a home, albeit foster homes for children who have become abandoned for various reasons to protect them from the vagaries of street life Going further, it is established in this work that the non-protection of a child's right to belong to a family by different actors especially the government in Nigeria has increased the incidence of social ills such as child trafficking, child labour, child abuse and increase in child mortal- rate in Nigeria. This paper adopting the doctrinal research methodology examined applicable laws on custody and guardianship of children in Nigeria and concluded that the scope of these laws are inadequate to effectively ensure the protection of the child's right to belong to a family It is also further suggested that improved infrastructural facilities and better social and welfare policies by government would be better guarantees of the protection of this and other rights that concern children in Nigeria



Child Rights, Custody, Guardianship, Family Environment, Nigerian Law


Novena University Law Journal, 9, 23-39.