Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

International Family and Community Studies


Kimbrough-Melton, Robin

Committee Member

Melton, Gary

Committee Member

Limber, Susan

Committee Member

Holaday, Bonnie


HIV and AIDS have the potential to surpass every catastrophe in Africa's history, because they encompass all of the past vulnerabilities. Thirty years after the identification of HIV, a transition from medical disease to social epidemic has occurred. The impact on family and community is threatening current economic, medical and social systems. In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the region most adversely affected, 14 million children have already been orphaned (UNAIDS, 2008). And at the core of the burgeoning orphan crisis, children affected by AIDS (CABA) are unable to exercise their rights, based on their position in society. This paper will concentrate on the right to education. The existing failures that are challenging CABA fall under five themes: (1) international co-operation; (2) state responsibility; (3) the inherent conflicts in the law; (4) the inability of the education system to adapt to the situation; and (5) inadequate monitoring and evaluation systems to assist in the evolution of policy and practice. However, international and national law led by the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) provide four guiding principles (participation; life, survival and development; non-discrimination; and best interests of the child) that set the standard for a model of action. A principle-based framework, replicable in any community, has been developed that integrates policy and practice at the international, national and community level. Action points for operationalization at each level are integrated into the model and explained in this paper.