Child Protection and Disability: Ethical, Methodological and Practical Challenges for Research

Child Protection and Disability: Ethical, Methodological and Practical Challenges for Research

Child Protection and Disability: Ethical, Methodological and Practical Challenges for Research

Child Protection and Disability: Ethical, Methodological and Practical Challenges for Research

Synopsis

What are the child protection concerns for children with disabilities? What are their views about the child protection system? How can we measure if we have made a difference in ending violence against children? These questions and others are at the forefront of policy, practice and research debates internationally. This book explores the ethical, methodological, and practical challenges in conducting child protection research with deaf and disabled children and young people. This volume draws upon research examples and of how to translate that research into policy and practice. It is written by international specialists in the fields of both child protection and disability. As with other titles in this series the book is written for postgraduate students and academics from a range of disciplines, particularly in child protection, health, social care and education.

Excerpt

Claudia Cappa, Unicef

Millions of children around the world experience the worst kinds of rights violations. Millions more children, not yet victims, are inadequately protected against them. Children with disabilities are particularly vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. They are among the most likely to be subjected to bullying and sexual violence, to experience neglect and to be deprived of family care. They are also among the least likely to get an education, to access services and to be reached by violence-prevention initiatives.

Sadly, these rights violations are under-recognised. This is mainly due to a shortage of sound data on the lives of children with disabilities and those who care for them. Such shortage has many causes. in some cases, it has stemmed from lack of capacity and resources for data collection and, in other cases, from insufficient investments in improving measurement. Research and data collection on children with disabilities has long been affected by the adoption of very narrow (and often stigmatising) definitions of disability. Furthermore, collecting data on sensitive child protection issues presents serious methodological and ethical challenges, and different research approaches have been developed, including the use of diverse measurement tools and datacollection protocols.

This combination of factors has often led to the collection of data of varying scope and quality, especially in low- and middle-income countries. It has also raised important questions about the risks and ethical issues that arise when the data-collection process involves vulnerable children. Ultimately, the lack of rigorous evidence and robust data has long compromised the ability of governments and the international community to accurately document the widespread nature of child protection violations against children with disabilities, to support planning and budgeting for services and to inform the development of effective policies.

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