A CRITICAL ANALYSIS INTO THE NATIONAL CHILDREN’S POLICY OF ETHIOPIA VIS-À-VIS THE SITUATION OF VULNERABLE CHILDREN
The problems of children living in difficult circumstances, including street children, can be better addressed when treated under a policy framework with carefully stipulated strategies. Although a separate policy of street children is lacking, Ethiopia has tried to mainstream the issues of vulnerable children under the two relevant policies of National Children’s Policy and National Social Protection Policy. Whereas the issue of vulnerable children has been slightly discussed under the umbrella of people in need of social protection, detailed discussion along with clearly stipulated implementation strategies for children in difficult circumstances has been issued in the National Children’s Policy of Ethiopia. A critical analysis of the policy has been made in this paper with special focus on policy issues of children in difficult circumstances and implementation strategies designed to improve their situation. The analysis was undertaken using normative policy analysis approach by focusing on the substantive contents of the policy with value neutrality. The paper involves a brief overview of the contents of the policy, and critical examination of the policy from the vantage points of its underlying assumptions, cost-effectiveness, equity, feasibility, acceptability from the public, stakeholders’ participation, and consideration of the situation of children living in diverse contexts. In addition, it includes criticism of the policy and its implementation strategies. Ultimately, the paper ends with suggesting substantive recommendations that would assist the policy to better achieve its objectives and become compatible with changing scenarios at local, national, and global levels.
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