Dienstag, 08. Mai 2018, 17:00 - 19:00 iCal

Afrika Kolloquium

An inquiry into a major organization that translates concepts of working children's rights in urban Senegal

by Nicolas Mabillard, University of Geneva, Centre for Children´s Rights Studies

Seminarraum 3, Institut für Afrikawissenschaften
Spitalgasse 2, Hof 5, 1090 Wien


What is the place of children´s rights in Senegal´s urban centres? How are they perceived, reformulated and practiced? The empirical anthropological study of the African Movement of Working Children and Youth (AMWCY), a working children-led organization with more than 18´000 active affiliated members in Senegal, addresses these questions by doing an in-depth analysis of the process of working children´s rights ´translations´. Throughout its history, the AMWCY has been able to grant elected children and young adults members access to institutions that produce and negotiate children's rights policies such as the African Union or the United Nations Population Fund. There, they attempt to influence children´s rights definition and implementation programmes. In a very competitive development sector, the AMWCY struggles to find a balance between occasional internal disruption attempts -theft, misuse of the organization resources and creation of competing NGOs by former members- and stability of its activities supporting working children and its advocacy agenda. The role of ´cultural brokers´ or ´development brokers´ played by several children and young adults in and for the movement invites to study the dynamics of adult-child relationships within the AMWCY.


Nicolas Mabillard, MA, is a doctoral student in anthropology/sociology at the University of Geneva´s School of social sciences. His research on children´s rights in Senegal was initiated by the Swiss National Science Foundation via the ´Living Rights in Translation: An Interdisciplinary Approach of Working Children´s Rights´ interdisciplinary research project. The project was launched at the University of Geneva´s Centre for Children´s Rights Studies (CCRS/CIDE) in March 2015. He spent a total of one year doing anthropological fieldwork on topics related to working children´s rights in Dakar and Saint Louis in Senegal, between 2015 and 2017. Nicolas is currently guest researcher at the Boltzmann Institut für Menschenrechte in Vienna until March 2019.

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Institut für Afrikawissenschaften


Ulrike Auer
Institut für Afrikawissenschaften