CLOSING THE IMPLEMENTATION GAP: MOVING FORWARD WITH THE UNITED NATIONS GUIDELINES FOR THE ALTERNATIVE CARE OF CHILDREN

  • Jennifer Davidson University of Strathclyde
Keywords: children’s rights, alternative care, child protection, deinstitutionalisation, international guidelines, implementation

Abstract

This paper offers a brief picture of an international policy framework, the United Nations Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children, and their development from initial conception within the Committee on the Rights of the Child to today. It provides an overview of the key principles of these Guidelines, drawing from a new resource developed to support their implementation around the world, entitled Moving Forward: Implementing the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children. This overview includes an explanation of the “necessity” and “suitability” principles; the importance of prevention alongside a robust “gatekeeping” function; the fundamental need for developing a genuine range of options; and the significance of focusing on “de-institutionalising the care system”. This article aims to offer something of a road map, identifying along the way a number of key milestones negotiated for children’s rights to be fully realised in alternative care. While this is a long road, the course has been internationally agreed.

Published
2015-05-04