Making professional decisions and judgements

Date: Thursday 23 August
Time: 12:20–13:30
Place: Bergen Resource Centre for International Development, Jekteviksbakken 31, Bergen

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is a global and a European standard. It is a legal document with global reach and thus a cosmopolitan imprint, as well as the most far-reaching document explicitly stating the rights of children. Child protection viewed through a prism of children’s rights should consider how the rights of children can and should influence and shape decisions that are made in different parts of the child protection system. This involves making assessments and decisions about preventive services including children with disabilities, out-of-home placement, emergency placements, adoption and aftercare.

Today, we see the influence of the UNCRC most prominently in shaping demands towards the involvement of children in decision-making. UN Guidelines(UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, General Comment 12 (2009), #134) suggest nine conditions that are necessary to fulfil participation rights for children: (1) transparent and informative; (2) voluntary; (3) respectful; (4) relevant; (5) inclusive; (6) supported by training; (7) safe and sensitive to risk; (8) accountable; and (9) child-friendly. Are these standards relevant for jurisdictions across the world or are there other more pressing problems that are overshadowing children’s rights? How, if at all, should the UNCRC lead to different ways of working professionally? How can the UNCRC assist states and be an instrument that shapes decision-making systems and courts in becoming professional in line with the Convention?

Moderator: Amy McEwan-Strand (UiB)

Participants/introductions by: Asgeir Falch-Eriksen (OsloMet), Marit Skivenes (University of Bergen), Karl Harald Søvig (University of Bergen), Helen Stalford (University of Liverpool), and Anne Mette Magnussen (Western Norway University of Appliced Science).

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Illustration: Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash