The Christening Contract
Edited by Bina D'Costa and Luke Glanville
This collection of essays was first published in the journal Global Responsibility to Protect (vol.10/1-2, 2018) as a special issue.
Contributors are: J. Marshall Beier, Letícia Carvalho, Bina D’Costa, Myriam Denov, Luke Glanville, Michelle Godwin, Erin Goheen Glanville, Cecilia Jacob, Dustin Johnson, Atim Angela Lakor, Katrina Lee-Koo, Ryoko Nakano, Jochen Prantl, Jeremy Shusterman, Hannah Sparwasser Soroka, Timea Spitka, Jana Tabak, Shelly Whitman.
Edited by Bina D’Costa and Luke Glanville
This introduction outlines in broad strokes some key aspects of the relationship between the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and the practice and scholarship of child protection. It lays out the parallel development of the R2P and Children and Armed Conflict agendas over the last two decades and surveys how key R2P documents developed during this period have engaged with issues of child protection. It then outlines the chapters that follow.
Jeremy Shusterman and Michelle Godwin
When the United Nations (un) agreed on a definition of the Responsibility to Protect (r2p) at the 2005 World Summit, the two paragraphs it endorsed articulated what r2p stands for, giving the concept a focused but narrow remit around protecting populations specifically from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity in armed conflict. In its next paragraph, the un Membership reiterated concerns on the impact of armed conflict on children echoing the landmark 1612 Resolution by the Security Council on Children and Armed Conflict (caac) adopted a few weeks before. Though side-by-side in the text, caac and r2p were not linked. To
Children are disproportionally affected in violent conflict, are vulnerable to exploitation and lack protection when a state is failing in its responsibility to protect. In the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, children, particularly those living in Gaza, East Jerusalem, parts of the West Bank are not only vulnerable during escalations but are subject to exploitation, detentions and severe security measures. Divisions over culpability have made the local representatives and the international community incapable or unwilling to take collective action to protect this most vulnerable population. Given the divisive international context, are there R2P tools that can be used effectively to enhance protection for children and teenagers in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict? The focus on the protection of children demonstrates: Firstly, the need to closely analyse current protection tools particularly under Pillar iii of R2P, Secondly, the importance to eradicate unintended effects of protection efforts, and finally the potential contribution of focus on children towards reaching a consensus on a protection regime.
Edited by Bina D’Costa and Luke Glanville
The United Nations Security Council’s Children and Armed Conflict agenda is animated by a protection ethic. While the protection of children from violence in armed conflict is entirely appropriate, this article demonstrates that the Council’s singular focus upon protection goes beyond merely appropriate, and borders upon overbearing. The article traces the ways that dominant conceptualisations of children as ‘innocent victims’ has animated an agenda that focuses primarily upon their victimisation that, in turn, reinforces the legitimacy of the protection ethic. It argues that this excludes a nuanced understanding of the lived experiences of children in conflict. In this sense, the agenda is closed to exploring the ways in which children resist, adapt, shape, and survive conflict in ways that position them as agents of their own protection and – in some circumstances – agents of community resilience amidst conflict. Ultimately, this article argues that re-visioning children’s relationship to armed conflict provides a strategy to better ensure children’s rights and reflects their relationship to peace.
The endorsement of R2P by the unga and the unsc does not give the doctrine legal status, however, such broad acceptance in the international community gives the concept some normative force. Although the unga formulation of R2P can be considered to be the most authoritative, as demonstrated by the articles in this special issue, the doctrine could be further advanced in relation to children in conflict zones. This article provides some reflections about recent unicef emergency response experiences in dealing with the Rohingya displacement in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.
Jochen Prantl and Ryoko Nakano
Two-thirds of the global child population lives in countries affected by violent and high-intensity conflict. International humanitarian law provides broad protection for children in the event of armed conflict. However, as the 2017 report of the un Secretary-General on children and armed conflict stresses, the scale and severity of grave violations has increased. This paper addresses the central puzzle of why the existing legal and normative frameworks of child protection have achieved so little, in addressing the marginalisation and disempowerment of children in armed conflict. We argue that the contemporary application of r2p in protecting children will be limited unless at least two fundamental challenges are met: (a) taming power politics; and (b) squaring inherent contradictions between the global r2p norm and national and regional normative frameworks of child protection. We highlight the case of Japan to illustrate the limits of the contemporary application of r2p in protecting children.