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International Law as Remedy: When the State Breaches Child Protection Statutes

NCJ Number
Child & Youth Services Volume: 32 Issue: 3 Dated: July-September 2011 Pages: 254-275
Judith Bessant
Date Published
September 2011
22 pages
This article examines the problem of children in state care who continue to be abused and neglected after being placed in its care.
While legislative frameworks prescribe the legal obligations of the parents to protect and nurture their children, there is no equivalent legal framework requiring and sanctioning the conduct of agents of the state who act in loco parentis. In consequence some children continue to be "at risk" and may even be in greater danger once the state has intervened. This is a problem that is not confined to one or two countries, but a matter of global concern that touches most developed and developing nations alike. In this article the author asks what remedies are available for addressing this perennial problem and suggest that one option is to use the existing human rights framework embodied in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC) which specifies the rights of children. The author outlines the reporting United Nations mechanisms and provides an example of how evidence and argument can be used as part of that reporting process with a view towards securing some of accountability. (Published Abstract)