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Much Ado about Nothing? The Road to the Incorporation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in Sweden

In: The International Journal of Children's Rights
Author:
Rebecca Thorburn Stern Associate Professor of International Law, Department of Law, Uppsala University, Sweden, rebecca.stern@jur.uu.se

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Article 4 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child stipulates that state parties have a positive obligation to implement the necessary legal measures to secure the rights recognised in the Convention. The crc Committee has stated that incorporation is its preferred method of implementation. In Sweden, the issue of incorporation has been the subject of a lengthy and contentious debate. This article aims to unpack the reasons for this. It is suggested that technical-legal arguments against the incorporation of the crc are grounded in and intertwined with cultural-legal arguments. While these arguments may be more or less clearly expressed by the various parties in the Swedish debate, I argue that they seem to have played an important role in the process through which this international treaty has been made applicable on the domestic level in Sweden.

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