The Human Rights of Children: From Visions to Implementation

The Human Rights of Children: From Visions to Implementation

The Human Rights of Children: From Visions to Implementation

The Human Rights of Children: From Visions to Implementation

Synopsis

This volume provides a series of critical analyses of some of the contemporary debates in relation to the human rights of children, resituating them within visions which informed the text of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989. The studies embrace examination of some of today's widespread interpretations of the CRC, analysis of what is implied by a human rights-based approach in research and advocacy and consideration of advances and barriers to research and to several aspects of CRC implementation. With contributions by leading experts in the field, the book examines the CRC as an international instrument, its inherent dilemmas and some of the debates generated by the challenges of implementation. It embraces examinations of different levels of governance from the international to the state party, regional and local levels, including institutional developments and changes in law, policy and practice. The book will be a valuable resource for students, researchers and policy-makers working in the area of children's rights and welfare.

Excerpt

The origins of this compilation are to be found in a project for a seminar series and a small conference held at Swansea University in September 2008. A number of questions and thoughts were in our mind. In common with many people, we do ask ourselves in what ways the CRC has made a difference to children. Although this is probably the main question to be asked and is at the centre of the monitoring process, it is also a broad one, far too ambitious and even a pretentious ambition for the small conference at Swansea. The key question focused instead on what lies behind any action in favour of children. The key issue of the day was to examine what we today call the children’s rights agenda and efforts for implementation in the light of what was intended at the time of the drafting and adoption of the CRC. More precisely the questions were: What were the original visions of the CRC held by those involved in the drafting or by those who have been in one way or another contributing to the CRC’s success in its adoption and in subsequent signatures and ratifications? Are today’s machinery, advocacy and actions of UN bodies and organisations, NGOs and government offices in line with it? What is the key dilemma or difficulty in its implementation? What are the state-of-the-art processes and machinery that have been created? And in what ways has there been development in the very much needed research necessary to promote children’s rights? The one-day conference, titled Children’s Rights: From 20th Century Visions to 21st Century Implementation?, involved leading experts including Nigel Cantwell, Jaap Doek, Judith Ennew and Geraldine Van Bueren in a discussion at the international level and a number of leading speakers who debated the situation in Wales at the time when the third and fourth periodic reporting round for the UK Government under the CRC was nearing its conclusion. The latter group of speakers presented different aspects of the situation in Wales and of the monitoring process during plenary presentations and workshops. Among them were Rhian Croke and Anne Crowley, Funky Dragon and Elspeth Webb (whose contributions are included in this book), Keith Towler (the Children’s Commissioner for Wales), Eleri Thomas (then chairperson of the Wales NGOs’ monitoring group for the CRC) and senior officials from the Welsh Assembly Government.

The excellence of the contributions and the amount of knowledge transmitted during the day made us regret having restricted the conference to one day and not having extended invitations to other experts, covering further topics. The edition of a compilation of the speakers’ contributions has thus become an opportunity to expand the debate a little further to include a number of different perspectives and topics whilst separating the contributions into two different books: the present collection, and a second focusing exclusively on the CRC in Wales, delayed to . . .

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