Translation of children’s rights into local languages and cultural contexts





Project region & local partners


This project is being implemented in Mali, Togo, Benin and Cameroon with our local partner organisations and native linguists.


All children around the world have inalienable, fundamental rights. In order to implement children’s rights comprehensively and sustainably, everybody needs to cooperate: parents, the social community and children themselves. However, the essential elements of the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child as well as the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child are little known and even less understood in rural areas of our partner countries. Hence, information on children's rights has to be spread in local languages during awareness-raising and education campaigns.

Yet, in many African languages, there is no equivalent for children’s rights. An often used translation is the power of children, which causes confusion and rejection throughout the population in all of our project regions and opposes child rights activism. It is thus necessary to translate these texts into local languages using colloquial expressions, traditional sayings and examples from every-day life.

Project Objectives

Children are better protected as their social community knows about their rights as well as about the responsibilities of adults, parents in particular and children. A guide with a culturally adapted and commented translation of important rights and duties is being developed by local linguists, child rights experts and community groups.

Target Groups

The commented guides will be used by:

  • Civil society organisations
  • Traditional and religious authorities
  • Media representatives
  • instructors, group leaders and other facilitators

to reach:

  • Local social communities, particularly parents and their children


In Mali, Togo, Benin and Cameroon, children's rights are being translated and explained in a culturally adapted way by liguists and our partner organisations. These definitions and their explanations are being tested in practice before the edition of a commented guide in the most common languages of our project regions. In these tests local networks, associations and groups of adults and children contribute to finding understandable and acceptable definitions. The publications are then being distributed amoung child rights activists, media and other key agents who work in awareness-raising.




  • German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
  • Freshfields Bruckhaus Dering LLP
  • KiRA (Kinderrechte Afrika e. V.) (donations)

Impressions from the working sessions in Togo with State, traditional and religious Authorities, local communities and linguists:

Cover picture: When social workers talk to children and adults in rural areas about children's rights, they use local languages, culturally adapted expressions, traditional sayings and examples from every-day life. © ALDEPA

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