The right to health for children in street situations : reality or mere illusion?

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Ahlgren, Madeleine
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This thesis examines the international and the Ugandan legal frameworks regarding the right to health for children in street situations, with a specific focus on access to primary health care. It also examines what impact these frameworks have for children in street situations in Mbarara, Uganda. The thesis combines and complements classic legal research with empirical research, providing an original approach to the topic. The thesis argues that the respective compliance mechanisms of the international instruments examined should adopt General Comments on how state parties are to implement its obligations with regard to children in street situations in order to protect them in a sufficient and effective way. The examined practice shows that the compliance mechanisms either fail to address the situation of these children, or that it is addressed in an incoherent or inconsistent manner. The right to health is not explicitly incorporated in the Ugandan constitution, neither are there any other legislative acts that reflect its elements. Rather, it is merely addressed through political objectives and policies. Interviews with some of the right holders themselves show that the right to health for children in street situations in Mbarara mainly is an illusion. Some children have or had access to primary health care, but it has often been due to a parent, a compassionate stranger or luck – and not due to an efficient government plan or policy that originates from national legislation and international human rights law.
Second semester University: Maastricht University.
right to health, street children, Uganda