Rethinking Child Policy Post-UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: Vulnerable Children’s Welfare in Sweden
2015 (English)In: Journal of Social Policy, ISSN 0047-2794, E-ISSN 1469-7823, Vol. 45, no 3, 435-452 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) formulates the rights of children in terms of provision, protection and participation. CRC implies a multi-dimensional view of children's welfare, including agency. This enables us to rethink the way we research and design policies aimed at promoting child welfare. In the past, Sweden has been seen as a forerunner when it comes to children's rights. However, the weak imprint of CRC on Swedish legislation and CRC implementation is not only a puzzle but also this apparent lack of impact makes it an interesting test case for exploring post-CRC policy developments. The purpose of the study is to identify what has prevented the evolution of Swedish social policy in this domain. We propose a framework for analysing policies aimed at promoting children's welfare (child policy) that goes beyond ‘family policy’. This, we argue, is critical for identifying obstacles to such a policy evolution. The framework is normatively anchored in CRC and theoretically inspired by the notion of participatory rights. By examining the legal reform work in Sweden over the past three decades with regard to how children's right to voice is treated in three areas of social service delivery, we observe that the lawmaker recognises parents’ rather than children's participatory rights. The lack of recognition of children's agency implies that a reconceptualisation of child welfare is necessary in order to unlock the stalemate in child policy development in Sweden, as well as to dissolve the tension between children as ‘beings’ and ‘becomings’.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 45, no 3, 435-452 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-270671DOI: 10.1017/S004727941500074OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-270671DiVA: diva2:890305