Dissertation Abstracts

Children's Rights in Policy and Poverty: An Analysis of Iceland, Norway and the UK

Author: Jeans, Cynthia L, clj@hi.is
Department: Department of Social and Policy Sciences
University: University of Bath, United Kingdom
Supervisor: Tess Ridge
Year of completion: 2013
Language of dissertation: English

Keywords: children's rights , child poverty , social policy
Areas of Research: Childhood , Poverty, Social Welfare and Social Policy , Human Rights and Global Justice


This study examines three areas of child policy assumed by scholars and recent research to relieve child poverty: child benefits, child support and early childhood education and care (ECEC) from a children’s rights perspective by comparing Iceland, Norway and the UK, 1991-2011. This research asks when, if and how do children's rights emerge in these three policies arenas. These areas of policy provide a good opportunity to examine the tension between the child, the adult and the state. A new framework was created combining both children’s rights and child poverty theories with comparative analysis. The results indicate that timing and form in which children’s rights emerged suggests a classification of the three states; Iceland an Equality-Integrity Rights based system, which focuses on gender equality and children's rights to some extent; Norway an Integrity Rights based system, which focuses on the child as an individual within the family and children's rights; and the UK a Family-Centred/Social Investment system, with decreasing emphasis on the child as an individual following the global bank crisis. Moreover, the comparison also opened up an understanding of the three policy areas studied; that the triangular relationship between the state, parent and child is very important and policy specific. These results can help guide policymakers in their search for evidence-based policies, and the framework offers politicians, activists, researchers and social workers a simple, sophisticated tool to gauge children's rights in policies.

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