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Accepted Paper:

Poor vulnerable orphan versus priest, working girl and President  
Elise Guillermet (IRD)

Paper long abstract:

This paper is based on data collected in two African contexts : Abomey (BĂ©nin) and Zinder (Niger), between 2003 and 2007.

The death of parents with young infants are creating familial crisis. Adult parents are searching for the best guardian according to the unfortunable event's interpretation. Two issues are expressed: the death of the child or his future delinquency.

Three constraints are combined: the etiological system (witchcraft / muslim representations), the kinship rules and the local representations of the child.

To highlight these points, I propose to confront the children's points of view and practices with the adults' ones (considered in their diverse status: religious, social and their adhesion to the children's rights).

I'll describe how children are living their situations through three questions:

- Do they know the adults interpretation of their orphan situation and the death of their parents? Are they informed as adults? What does it mean about the children's local status?

- Which are the children's own interpretations of their parents' death? Which are their practices regarding to their risk perception?

- And, finally, what are they doing with their social status of orphan, distinctively to the adults' constructions of the juvenile delinquency?

Panel W093
Lifeworlds of children and youth in times of crisis
  Session 1