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The right to be heard: A review of child participation and a human rights-based approach in Afghanistan
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Children as a group are often the most vulnerable in society, and the rights of the child have been, and still is a controversial issue around the world. The right to participate puts this on its head. During crisis, children’s vulnerability is heightened and their further development and opportunities for a healthy and dignified life is at risk. The obligation of humanitarian actors to protect the rights of the child, and to increase the accountability for affected populations is therefore undeniable. This study focuses on the child’s right to be heard in humanitarian action by analysing the efforts of Save the Children in Afghanistan. The aim is to assess if there is room for a human rights-based approach (HRBA) in humanitarian responses and by what means children are engaged in Save the Children’s work. Harry Shier’s model ‘Pathways to Participation’ is applied in order to demonstrate its applicability to humanitarian action. The study is conducted through the lens of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, childhood and participation studies as well as the human rights-based approach. Through the review of internal documents from Save the Children as well as interviews with staff at the organisation, this study shows that while there is a need to uphold the child’s right to participate during an emergency, the application of HRBA is difficult. The study also found that the higher levels of participation in Shier’s model are harder to achieve in certain stages of the project cycle and an emergency.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 95 p.
Keyword [en]
Child participation, children's rights, humanitarian action, Afghanistan, HRBA, participation
National Category
Other Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-296379OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-296379DiVA: diva2:937767
Subject / course
International Humanitarian Action
Educational program
Master Programme in International Humanitarian Action
Available from: 2016-06-16 Created: 2016-06-15 Last updated: 2016-06-16Bibliographically approved

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