The 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is the world's most widely ratified international human rights treaty. It thus provides an ideal context in which to examine the relationship between different cultural values and the interntional community's oft-stated aspiration to achieve universal human rights standards. This volume focuses upon a widely accepted family law principle according to which "the best interests of the child" shall be "a primary consideration...in all actions concerning children." Through a combination of broad theoretical analyses and country-specific case studies the distinguished contributors demonstrate that cultural values are inevitably a major factor in the interpretation and application of many human rights norms.
The birth of the Sudanese National Programme of Action took place in an adverse context characterised by economic isolation and frequent situations of chronic emergency. This paper chronicles the country’s experience of the subsequent ‘decentralisation’ of the programme.
The birth of the Argentine NPA took place in a context of profound institutional reform, with the federal government placing responsibility for health care, education and social policy in the hands of the provinces.
Traditional methods of assessment of the success of a nation in meeting the obligations of the CRC have centred upon an analysis of comparative ‘social indicator’ statistics. This paper showcases an attempt at a more ad hoc approach in its analysis of the development of health care systems in Chile and Thailand. This ‘historical’ method - with its emphasis upon the unique experience of the individual country - reveals that despite adverse economic circumstances both countries have shown an impressive level of commitment to child rights.
This paper is the product of the authors’ detailed study of food intervention programmes in nine countries. It identifies the imperfections common to all such schemes, finding that most can be brought under two headings - the ‘two errors’ of the title.