Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type



International Relations

First Advisor

Nicholas Rush Smith

Second Advisor

Jeffrey Kucik


Health, education, children's rights


Developing adequate health care and education systems has been an ongoing struggle for the governments of both Kenya and Brazil. Despite moderate improvements in health and education statistics for both of these countries, there is clear evidence that these states will have to be actively engaged in order to overcome the challenges that lie ahead. Kenya and Brazil may differ in geographical location, history, culture, and socioeconomic status, but both countries are congruent in the challenges they face to provide sufficient access to quality health care and educational resources to the upcoming generations of children who are being failed by flawed policies and inadequate systems. Even though both countries have signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, have constitutions that obligate the state to foster opportunity, and are actively pursuing the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development Goals, these states must overcome their long histories of poor quality institutions. This paper will look at whether these treaties and policies have helped to spur advances in Kenya and Brazil towards the rights of children. Specifically, I argue that corruption has a direct impact on health and education in many countries and that weaknesses in governance affects how public institutions perform their functions in a country. Furthermore, this paper will explore whether corruption plays major role in contributing to the violation of children’s rights in Kenya and Brazil. This paper will provide an in-depth explanation and analysis of how Kenya and Brazil’s education and healthcare systems have been impacted by flawed government systems. This paper will not only describe and address issues related to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, and each country’s constitution, but it will also look at the impact of corruption – seeking to determine why the prevalence of flawed government education and health care systems continue in spite of each country pursuing policies that promise to advance the rights and opportunities of children.



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