The book presents a comparative study of children’s constitutional rights in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The authors discuss the value of enshrining children’s rights in national constitutions in addition to implementing the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Central issues are whether enshrining children’s rights in the Constitution improves implementation and enforcement of those rights by providing advocacy tools and by mandating courts, legislators, policy-makers and practitioners to take children’s rights seriously. The study assesses whether the Nordic constitutions are in line with the child rights approach of the CRC both on a general level and in detail in three domains; the best interests of the child, participation rights, and the right to respect for family life.
The European Court of Human Rights has generated a significant volume of case law that imposes demanding standards on States Parties to prevent, investigate and remedy ill-treatment of children at the hands of private actors. However, confusion and inconsistency is evident on a number of key points. Similar cases are decided on different grounds; and the approach to whether the right to an effective remedy under Article 13 has been violated is erratic. This creates uncertainty as to what is required of States to implement judgments, and makes it more difficult for similarly situated victims to vindicate their rights without bringing repetitive applications to Strasbourg. This article provides the first comprehensive treatment of Convention obligations to protect children from ill-treatment. It identifies problematic aspects of the case law, and proffers a more coherent body of principles that would provide greater clarity regarding what the echr requires of States Parties in the sphere of child protection, and regarding the measures of implementation required of States in cases where violations are found.
The article is based on interviews with 22 children’s spokespersons in the Norwegian arrangement for indirect participation in care proceedings, and presents analyses of the spokespersons’ experiences of contradictions and dilemmas in their practices. Contradictions and dilemmas may be seen in light of the epistemological positions analysed from spokespersons’ accounts: their interpretation of their mandate and the status they ascribe to the child’s contribution to the dialogue. The article’s contribution is the presentation of analytical results that call for a discussion about the inherent contradictions in the mandate of an indirect participation arrangement, and contradictions between psychological and judicial aspects of the spokespersons’ practices.
Recent work regarding children’s rights has advocated for research in non-Western settings and with participants who are ethnic/racial minorities. We addressed these issues through secondary analysis of interviews with 63 mixed-race South African children (9-, 11-, and 13-year olds) and their mothers. Participants’ responses to hypothetical vignettes depicting children’s nurturance and self-determination rights scenarios were coded using social cognitive domain theory and subsequently analysed with mixed-design anovas. Outcomes figured prominently in children’s and mothers’ reasoning. Moral reasoning was primarily invoked when discussing the right to privacy, extending earlier work and suggesting the importance of privacy across cultural contexts.