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International Social Work Call for Submissions
Special Edition: Child Rights in Africa

Coeditors: Professor Vishanthie Sewpaul and Professor Carmel Matthias (University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa)

International Social Work invites submissions of articles for a special edition on: Child Rights in Africa.

Parts of Africa are currently undergoing enormous socio-political changes while in others intractable wars and violence have become endemic and, to an extent, somewhat normalized. The volatility of wars, violence and entrenched poverty in parts of the African continent, have enormous consequences for the quality of life of people, particularly for those in vulnerable positions. Even in countries where the changes are positive, as in the toppling of dictatorial rule and the move towards participatory democracy, the substantive and material impacts on people’s, including children’s lives especially in the immediate and short term cannot be under-estimated. Yet these epochs of dramatic socio-political change hold the possible seeds of liberation and the (re)affirmation of human rights broadly and children’s rights more specifically. Africa, as with many other parts of the world, grapples with issues of national sovereignty and localized cultures in relation to universal human and child rights protocols and instruments. These momentous changes and states of flux in Africa mean that African scholars and practitioners in social work have to deal with these issues in very decided ways. Africa is pregnant with possibilities waiting to be born as some of our countries re-shape their destinies and re-write their histories. If we, as social work educators and practitioners are willing to rise to the challenges then Africa can perhaps pave the way into the future – to move beyond rhetoric to truly lend action to instruments like the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. To date African voices have been relatively silent on issues of child rights on the continent and this special edition aims to redress this.

We are interested in articles of approximately 4 000 words that represent the various facets of children’s rights across different countries in Africa. We are seeking conceptual, research, practice and/or pedagogical based articles related to any aspect of child rights including health and education related rights; ethics in child research and practice; social security; children in alternative care placements; children in particularly vulnerable situations such as child soldiers, children caught up in wars, violence and poverty, child brides, child trafficking, children living on the streets, orphaned children and children living and working in high risk environments. We welcome articles that reflect not just challenges and difficulties but sound models of policy development and implementation, teaching and research related to child rights.

Authors should follow the guidelines of writing articles of the ISW (to view these guidelines, please visit

Please send an abstract of no more than 400 words and a brief one paragraph profile of yourself to Vishanthie Sewpaul at by 29 April 2011. The special edition is due to be published in May 2012. As the timescales are very tight we urge you to submit your abstracts in time.

Full papers have to be submitted through the online submission system SAGE track,

To view this Call for Papers as a PDF file, or to download it for printing, please click here.

CFP – Special Issue of International Social Work: Child Rights in Africa