Localising De-Institutionalisation: The Potentials of Article 20 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in the Context of Rajasthan, India

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Localising De-Institutionalisation

T2 - The Potentials of Article 20 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in the Context of Rajasthan, India

AU - Mortensen, Therese

PY - 2018

Y1 - 2018

N2 - Article 20 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Childrecognises the vulnerability of children growing up outside a familyenvironment, and sets the ground for the paradigm of ‘institutions asa last resort’. However, ‘care homes’ or ‘hostels’ are still common formsof alternative care solutions for children from impoverished familiesin India. This article asks to what extent the clear impetus towardsde-institutionalisation in human rights discourses, especially amonginternational NGOs, has potential to change such practices. The studycontributes to a body of scholarship on ‘localising children’s rights’ bypresenting findings from an ethnographic case study of an institutionfor HIV-infected/affected children in Rajasthan, India. The institution inquestion played a range of social functions other than childcare such aseducation, a means for parents to rescue their children from extremepoverty, and a supportive and de-stigmatised environment for thecommunity of people living with HIV/AIDS. The article argues thatsocial functions of existing institutions should be taken into accountwhen developing rights-based de-institutionalisation strategies.

AB - Article 20 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Childrecognises the vulnerability of children growing up outside a familyenvironment, and sets the ground for the paradigm of ‘institutions asa last resort’. However, ‘care homes’ or ‘hostels’ are still common formsof alternative care solutions for children from impoverished familiesin India. This article asks to what extent the clear impetus towardsde-institutionalisation in human rights discourses, especially amonginternational NGOs, has potential to change such practices. The studycontributes to a body of scholarship on ‘localising children’s rights’ bypresenting findings from an ethnographic case study of an institutionfor HIV-infected/affected children in Rajasthan, India. The institution inquestion played a range of social functions other than childcare such aseducation, a means for parents to rescue their children from extremepoverty, and a supportive and de-stigmatised environment for thecommunity of people living with HIV/AIDS. The article argues thatsocial functions of existing institutions should be taken into accountwhen developing rights-based de-institutionalisation strategies.

M3 - Article

VL - 5

JO - Asia in Focus

JF - Asia in Focus

SN - 2446-0001

ER -