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The UN convention on the rights of the child, decentralisation and legislative integration: a case study from Wales
The International Journal of Human Rights, Volume: 23, Issue: 3, Pages: 374 - 391
Swansea University Author: Simon Hoffman
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Despite decentralisation and local control over policy being a ubiquitous feature of human rights governance globally, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child focuses primarily on the State as the locus for implementation of UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). State control and a reg...
|Published in:||The International Journal of Human Rights|
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Despite decentralisation and local control over policy being a ubiquitous feature of human rights governance globally, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child focuses primarily on the State as the locus for implementation of UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). State control and a regulative approach prioritising justiciability of the CRC at national level are the Committee’s dominant responses to decentralisation. This paper introduces the context of decentralisation, including the risks and potential gains for implementation of the CRC. It is contended that the regulative approach contemplated by the Committee may prove particularly challenging in the context of decentralisation. It is suggested that a normative approach, in which legislation is used to promote compliance through cultural acceptance of the CRC, and to support localisation of children and young people’s rights, may be better suited to the contours of decentralised governance. Taking the example of Wales, a devolved territory in the United Kingdom, it will be shown how a primarily normative approach to legal integration can help mainstream international norms in policy development, enhance accountability for rights, and provide opportunities for policy advocacy at a local level. The paper is a contribution to the literature on the instrumental value of legislation to support the realisation of human rights, applicable to decentralised systems of governance.
Decentralisation; devolution; human rights; children and young people; legal integration; UNCRC