Following the success of conferences in Ghana (2013), South Africa (2014), Namibia (2015), Ethiopia (2016), Morocco (2017), Nigeria (2018), and Botswana (2019), the African Consortium for Law and Religion Studies will be convening its Eighth Annual Law and Religion Conference in Nairobi, Kenya from 16 to 19 May 2021, in collaboration with Hekima University College, and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies of the Brigham Young University Law School, USA. The theme for the conference will be Law, Religion, and the Family. The Declaration on the Rights of the Child was adopted by the United Nations in 1959 and its sixtieth anniversary, along with the twentieth anniversary of the coming into force of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child in 1999, provide a timely occasion to focus on the institution of the family in its broadest sense and its interrelationship with law and religion. It is anticipated that papers and panels at the 2020 conference will address particular instances from individual African countries, as well as more general and comparative issues. The following suggested sub-themes are designed to give an outline of the scope of the conference, but should not be seem as limiting the scope of the overall theme.

  • The triangular relationship: law, religion and family
  • The enduring legacy of the UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child in the African context and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child Child protection and safeguarding in Africa
  • State policies on the family, children, and youth
  • Supporting the vulnerable – challenges for African street children
  • Effects of war, conflict, displacement, and migration on the family
  • Religion in African schools
  • Competing interests of parents and the state on child-rearing in Africa
  • Religions and sexual abuse of children
  • Indigenous communities/traditions and the family
  • Masculinities, feminisms, and the family
  • Rural cultures, urbanization, and effects on the family
  • African diasporas, globalization, and the family
  • Religious marriage, matrimonial consequences (inheritance, succession, maintenance, custody, adoption, and divorce) and impact on the family
  • Religion, children, parental consent and public health in Africa
  • Children’s rights, witchcraft accusations, and the limits of legal protection of religion
  • Environment and stewardship of Earth’s human family

NOTE: Due to the the necessity of postponing the 2020 meeting untile 2021, new deadlines will be set for submitting abstracts and/or panel proposals, orginally set at 15 September 2019. Watch this space for further information. It will still be the case that rRevised versions of accepted papers should be submitted within four weeks of the conclusion of the conference for inclusion in ACLARS’ annual peer-reviewed volume.FOr questions, please contact program@aclars.org.

Professor Kofi Quashigah, President, ACLARS

Revd Dr James Campbell SJ, Chief Librarian and Senior Lecturer in Canon Law, Hekima College, Nairobi, Conference Convener