Legal protection of mentally and intellectually disabled children from violence
: Case study Lagos, Nigeria.

  • Soibi Godwin-Clark

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This research examined the implementation of legalprotection of mentally and intellectually disabled children (MIDC) from the useof violence against their person in the family, home and closed community inNigeria. The research was conducted from a social-realist based framework,examined and sought to understand the impact of legal provisions based oninteraction with society and how the law operates in practise. The researcheraligned with the assumption that the law is not self-implementing, but dependenton human actors for actualisation of effective implementation. The research wasfocused on Lagos state Nigeria, a non-western, developing nation in the globalsouth as a case study and was undertaken in response to calls for further andbetter research into violence against disabled children in non-western low-midincome developing countries. The concept of disability in disability studies,intersectionality and legal pluralism were deployed as frameworks forconducting the research. The theories deployed all support interpretivequalitative empirical enquiry and the method of semi-structured interviewsadopted in conducting this research.

Original contributions to the body of knowledge includedproviding new empirical data on detail and context of implementation ofprotection of MIDC from violence in Nigeria from the perspective of variousprofessional and cultural actors, examination of the impact of socio-culturaland religious factors on legal protection of MIDC from violence and providedinsight into the possibility of how the law may be manipulated for theadvancement of personal interest or agenda, based on the existence of legalpluralism.

Findings demonstrated that the implementation andenforcement of MIDC's right to protection from violence is influenced bysocietal religious and customary beliefs including the beliefs of thoseentrusted with implementation and enforcement of the law and demonstrated thatthe intersection of childhood and MID has a negative impact on protection ofMIDC from violence.

Thesis is embargoed until 31 December 2025.
Date of AwardDec 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SponsorsNational Open University Nigeria
SupervisorDagmar Schiek (Supervisor) & Bronagh Byrne (Supervisor)


  • Legal protection
  • mental disability
  • Intellectual disability
  • violence
  • child protection
  • child rights
  • children
  • legal pluralism
  • concept of disability
  • intersectional discrimination

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