Location of Repository

Children in between : child rights and child placement in Sri Lanka

By Jill Grime

Abstract

This thesis examines the appropriateness of the use of rights based strategies in\ud meeting children's needs. In an era of proliferating international conventions this is\ud an issue that demands further debate.\ud The starting point of the thesis is the way that rights talk about children. It is\ud suggested that ideas of difference are integral to child rights. Needs and rights are\ud attributed on the basis of difference. The difference between children and adults is\ud defined and informed by the scientifically based discourse of child development,\ud on which a prescriptive model of childhood is built. Difference also structures the\ud relationship between child rights and other cultural norms of childhood. Rights\ud make claims to a universal application. Other constructions of childhood are\ud redefined as local, and required to fit into the rights framework, or delegitimised.\ud Developing these points it is asked whether rights, as an internationally dominant\ud discourse, can succeed in accommodating rather than excluding difference, since\ud the process of exclusion involves an operation of power which serves to reinforce\ud the status quo. This is a problem that is recognised in some theoretical perspectives\ud (although only rarely applied to child rights). The response is usually in terms of\ud restating universal claims, or advocating some form of cultural relativism. This\ud thesis leans in favour of the latter. However, it also departs somewhat from this\ud dichotomy, and argues, relying on ideas of chaos and complexity, that child rights\ud need to be reworked. Two distinct approaches are suggested: either the recognition\ud of radical, incommensurable difference, in which there can at best be convergence\ud under a limited overarching framework of values; or the removal of difference as a\ud structuring concept.\ud The argument is elaborated through a detailed analysis, structured by theories of\ud globalisation, of the interaction between the dominant rights discourse of\ud childhood, and alternative conceptions of childhood in Sri Lanka. The analysis is\ud based on field research, in which the response of the child care authorities to the\ud practice of child placement was investigated, as was the impact on children and\ud families of their responses. This investigation involved one of the only pieces of\ud empirical research yet done in Sri Lanka, on either the juvenile courts, or on child\ud placement and domestic service. The findings supported the conclusion that in\ud order to be able to embrace complexity, and empower children, child rights need to\ud be rethought

Topics: HD, HQ
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:3675

Suggested articles

Preview

Citations

  1. 1985."SriLanka", in Social Welfare in Asia, edited by J. Dixon and Hyung ShikKim,
  2. (1985). 1994: 132; see also de Soysa
  3. (1994). 317As I mentioned above the concept ofdifference is important in my analysis ofchild rights. Fine. in "Working the Hyphens"
  4. 33Civilised order, legal order, Hart's voluntary, coercive system, is what distinguishes western social organisation, and prevents disintegration into the surrounding partial disorder ofthe natural, non
  5. (1986). 49The situation ofchild domestic servants is mentioned in the 1986 UNICEF report : "Less dramatic, but even more pervasive..." than child slavery or prostitution
  6. (1981). A History ofSri
  7. (1989). A Purified SociologyofLaw: Niklas Luhmann on the Autonomy ofthe Legal System", Law andSociety Review, doi
  8. (1990). A Sinhala Village in a Time ofTrouble,
  9. (1975). A Sketchofthe Constitution ofthe Kandyan Kingdom,
  10. (1990). A variety ofclaims are made on behalfofchild rights. Hammarberg argues that child rights protect children's interests, through recognition oftheir special vulnerability
  11. (1935). AdministrationReport ofthe Inspector General of Police for 1934",
  12. (1991). Advances in Child and Adolescent Psychology", in Learning to Think, ChildDevelopment in Social Context, edited by
  13. (1982). Afterword: The Subject and Power", in Michel Foucault: BeyondStructuralism andHermeneutics, edited by
  14. (1995). An alternative position is taken by Fitzpatrick
  15. (1994). An Investigation into Children's Rights in Sri
  16. (1966). AnHistorical RelationofCeylon, Dehiwala: Tisara Prakasakyo.
  17. (1991). APlan ofAction for the Children ofSri Lanka", Colombo: Human Resources DevelopmentDivisionNational Planning Department, Ministry ofPolicy Planning and Implementation.
  18. (1991). AProfile ofChildDevelopment in Sri Lanka", Colombo: HumanResources Development DivisionNational Planning Department, Ministry ofPolicy Planning and Implementation.
  19. (1978). As already suggested the CRC is the product ofprotracted negotiations, between a fluctuating group of state representatives, extending over 11 years
  20. (1996). As an example in 1995 there were five bomb blasts in Colombo (including one at an oil depot) in which 59 people died, and in
  21. (1998). As I have argued in this chapter, rights impose an essentialising identity, which as Baxi acknowledges creates "new sites ofinjury"
  22. (1996). As in Hiranthi's case, official statements tend to link child domestic service with sexual abuse. For girls at least, child service is seen as one step down the slippery slope towards prostitution. This connection had already been made in research studies
  23. (1991). Because of this focus on "action-in-the-world", Piaget tended to reduce the significance ofsocial interaction in the development ofthought. Vygotsky, another influential theorist in this field, took a different approach (Vygotsky
  24. (1987). Beyondthe PubliclPrivate Division: Law, Power and the Family", Journal ofLaw andSociety,
  25. (1994). Book Qualitative Data Analysis, London; Thousand Oaks,
  26. (1993). Book Review: M.D. Fortuyn andM. de Langen (eds) Towards the Realisation ofHuman Rights ofChildren",
  27. (1994). BookReview: Philip E. Veerman, The Rights ofthe Child andthe Changing Image ofChildhood",
  28. (1992). Buddhism Betrayed? Religion, Politics and Violence in Sri doi
  29. (1988). Buddhism Transformed: Religious Change in Sri doi
  30. (1986). But, beyond... (Open Letter to Anne McClintock andRob Nixon)", in "Race", Writing andDifference, edited by H. L.Gates,
  31. (1993). Caste in Modern Ceylon: The Sinhalese System in Transition, doi
  32. (1998). ChangingMaps: Empirical Legal Autopoiesis", SocialandLegalStudies,
  33. (1988). Chaos: Making a New Science, doi
  34. (1991). Child Welfare Within Law: The Emergence ofa Hybrid Discourse", doi
  35. (1999). ChildDomestic Work,"
  36. (1990). Childhood and Policy Makers: A Comparative Perspective on the Globalization ofChildhood",
  37. (1998). ChildLabour in Contemporary Society: Why do
  38. (1996). ChildLabour in Sri Lanka",
  39. (1996). ChildLabour on the Plantations: A Case Study",
  40. ChildLabour today: Facts and Figures", World ofWork: The Magazine ofthe ILO,
  41. (1992). Children's Charter", Colombo: Ministry of Reconstruction and Rehabilitation and Social Welfare and the Departmentof Probation and Child Care Services.
  42. (1992). Children's Rights and Children's Lives", in Children, Rights, andthe Law, edited by doi
  43. (1995). Children's Rights: in the Name ofthe Child",
  44. (1999). Children's Rights: Realityor Rhetoric?, London: Save the ChildrenFund.
  45. (1992). Children's Rights: The Theoretical Underpinning ofthe "Best Interests" ofthe Child", in The Ideologies ofChildren's Rights, edited by M.D.A. Freeman and P.Veerman,
  46. (1995). Civil Society",
  47. Combattingthe Most Intolerable Forms ofChild Labour: A Global 347Challenge. Background Paper",
  48. (1997). Conference Papers",
  49. (1990). Controversy about Children's Rights", in Children andthe Law, edited by D. Freestone, Hull:
  50. (1994). Cultural Transformation and Normative Consensus on the Best Interests ofthe Child", InternationalJournalofLaw andthe Family 8:62-81. doi
  51. (1985). CustodyDisputes between Parents and Third Parties- an Evaluationofthe Sri LankanLaw", University ofColombo Review,
  52. (1984). Customary Laws ofSri
  53. (1939). CYPO: Children and Young Persons Ordinance
  54. (1991). DangerousSupplements: Resistance andRenewal in Jurisprudence,
  55. (1994). DataManagement and Analysis Methods", in HandbookofQualitative Research,
  56. (1927). Debates in the Legislative Council ofCeylon",
  57. (1977). Discipline andPunish: The Birthofthe Prison,
  58. (1990). Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy", in GlobalCulture, Nationalism, Globalization andModernity, edited by M.
  59. (1917). Education Ordinance No 1.
  60. (1997). Educationand ChildLabour. BackgroundPaper",
  61. ExploitationofWorking Children andStreet Children,
  62. (1995). ExploringAlternativeApproaches to Combatting ChildLabour: Case Studies From Developing Countries,
  63. (1989). Feminism andthe Powerofthe Law, doi
  64. (1982). Following the deconstructive lead taken by
  65. (1988). For a detailed discussion see Gombrich and Obeyesekere
  66. (1990). Foucault andDerrida: The Other Side ofReason,
  67. (1986). Franklin provides a radical answer to the questionofrights (see for example Franklin
  68. (1993). From Order to Chaos. Essays: Critical, Chaotic and 348Otherwise, Singapore: World Scientific Publishers. doi
  69. (1991). Gender Transformation, Power andResistance among Women in Sri doi
  70. (1984). Genealogy" is a term employed by Foucault. In his work, Foucault stresses the historical contingency ofsocial constructs. For instance, in "Was ist Aufklarung?"
  71. (1991). Genesis ofthe HigherMental Functions", in Learning to Think, ChildDevelopment in Social Context, editedby
  72. (2000). Globalism", mimeo, offorthcoming article "Globalisation and theHumanityofRights", Law, SocialJustice andGlobalDevelopment Journal,
  73. (1992). Globalization: Social Theory andGlobal Culture, doi
  74. (1998). Governed by Law?", Social andLegal Studies,
  75. (1994). HandbookofQualitative Research,
  76. (1941). Hansard: Debates in the State Council ofCeylon",
  77. (1939). Hansard: Debates inthe State Council ofCeylon",
  78. (1995). Hansard: Debates ofthe Sri Lankan Parliament",
  79. (1992). Hart's analysis establishes law as an ordering order. Order is a prerequisite and law delivers it (1992:196). Further, Fitzpatrick argues
  80. (1994). Having set up the problem Freeman goes on to state: "Butwhat is to be regarded as 'irrational' must be strictly confined. Subjective values ofthe would be protector must not intrude."
  81. (1993). Hiranthi's" case hit the headlines in
  82. (1992). his book Buddhism Betrayed doi
  83. (1988). How Children Think andLearn: the Social Contexts ofCognitive Development,
  84. (1982). HumanRights and Human Dignity: An Analytic Critique of Non Western Conceptions ofHumanRights", doi
  85. (1999). HumanRights: A Culture ofControversy",
  86. (1993). I.G. Circular No. 1105/93~ Crime Branch Circular No. 27/93", Colombo: Sri Lankan Police.
  87. IL01997a: paragraph 78; and ILO and UNICEF 1997b: paragraphs 29 and 47.
  88. (1998). ILO-IPECHighlights of1998,
  89. (1978). In "Policing the Crisis" Hall (et al) argue that the media "in the 'last instance'...reproduce the definitions ojthe powerful ..."
  90. (1983). Indeed it is the social order ofsociety (Geertz
  91. (1992). InDefence ofMoral Rights", OxfordJournalofLegalStudies,
  92. (1958). Index to Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) House of Representatives Official Report Session 1957-8",
  93. (1974). InfantMother Attachment and Social Development: Socialization as a ProductofReciprocal Responsiveness to Signals", in The Integration ofthe Child into a Social World, edited by M.P.M. Richards, London:
  94. International Action: Standards need reinforcing", World ofWork: The Magazine ofthe ILO,
  95. (1993). International LabourLaw: SelectedIssues,
  96. (1990). Introduction to Children's Rights Symposium", Human Rights Quarterly,
  97. (1986). Introduction", in The RightsofChildren, edited by B.
  98. (1973). It is not only physical growth that can be measured. Cognitive and affective characteristics can be similarly identified. This is the foundation ofanother classic of the discourse on children, "Beyond the Best Interests of the Child"
  99. (1999). It robs children oftheir fundamental rights, including the right to education. The practice is so comprehensively abusive that it is clearly contrary to the right ofthe child to be protected from economic exploitation and hazardous work under
  100. (1996). Law, Labor and the Spectacle ofthe Body: Protecting Child Street Performers in Nineteenth Century France", doi
  101. (1990). Law's Power, the Sexed Body, and Feminist Discourse", doi
  102. (1996). Let Them Eat Cake": Globalisation, Postmodem Colonialism, andthe Possibilities ofJustice", doi
  103. (1996). Local, Global orGlobalized: Child Development and International ChildRights Legislation", Childhood- A GlobalJournal ofChild
  104. (1983). LocalKnowledge: Further Essays inInterpretive Anthropology,
  105. (1995). Masculinity, Law andthe Family, doi
  106. (1982). Michel Foucault: BeyondStructuralism andHermeneutics, London: Harvester Wheatsheaf Ennew,
  107. (1986). Modernisation here refers to ideas already touched on in Chapters 1and 2, for instance in my discussion ofDonnelly
  108. (1996). Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions ofGlobalization, doi
  109. (1984). Multilateral Treaties Index andCurrent Status, CompiledandAnnotatedwithin the University ofNottingham Treaty Centre by MJ. Bowman andDiJ.
  110. (1996). National Workshop on ChildLabour in Sri Lanka: Education and Training in Sri Lanka",
  111. (1994). Niti-Nighanduva; or, The Vocabulary ofLaw, Colombo: Navrang in collaboration with Lake House Bookshop.
  112. (1983). Nonetheless Weeramunda suggests that "For every domestic who gets a good deal there is another whose lot appears to be just the opposite."
  113. (1996). official statements present child domestic service as one ofthe major child labour problems in the country (lLO Colombo and Ministry ofLabour and Vocational Training, National Workshop
  114. (1988). Ontology in Kapferer's terms is a logical structure, "beneath the level ofconscious reflection"
  115. (1990). Order in Court,
  116. Overview: Children in Especially Difficult Circumstances,
  117. (1995). Passions outofPlace: Law, Incommensurability and Resistance", Law andCritique, doi
  118. (1972). Pedagogyofthe Oppressed,
  119. (1994). Phenomenology, Ethnomethodology and Interpretive Practice",
  120. (1968). Piaget in Perspective: Piaget's Place in ChildPsychology, UniversityofSussex: School ofEducation.
  121. (1991). Piaget, Teachers andEducation into the 1990s", in Learning to Think, editedby
  122. (1978). Policingthe Crisis: Mugging, the State, andLaw andOrder, doi
  123. (1990). Psychology and the Cultural Construction ofChildren's Needs", in Constructing andReconstructing Childhood: ContemporaryIssues in the Sociological StudyofChildhood, edited by
  124. (1995). Qualitative Interviewing: TheArtOf Hearing Data, Thousand Oaks, doi
  125. (1986). Racism's Last Word", in ''Race, Writing andDifference,
  126. (1990). Re-Presenting Childhood: Time and Transition in the Study ofChildhood", in Constructing andReconstructing Childhood: Contemporary Issues
  127. (1994). Really Equal Rights? Some Philosophical Comments on "Why children shouldn't have equal rights" doi
  128. (1990). Recent Trends in the Law Relating to Parent and Child",
  129. (1994). Report on the Implementation ofthe Convention on the Rights ofthe Child,
  130. (1996). Report to National Workshop on ChildLabour",
  131. (1990). Reportofthe Registrar General on Vital Statistics
  132. Reportto Committee on EmploymentandSocialPolicy: ChildLabour,
  133. (1996). Reportto National Workshop on Child Labour",
  134. (1995). Resistance and the Cultural Power ofLaw", doi
  135. (1992). Rights are important as Freeman points out. He argues for acceptance ofrights in the absence of cultural revolution, "Short of a cultural revolution beyond our wildest dreams, rights will remain important"
  136. (1998). Rights are used to define the problem. Along with other forms ofchild labour, child domestic service is in violation ofhuman rights (lLO 1998a and ILO
  137. (1991). Rights, Social Justice and Globalisation",
  138. (1931). Sessional Paper II was written during a period oftransition for Sri Lanka, as the country moved towards political independence. The Donoughmore Constitution
  139. (1988). Sessional Paper No VI-
  140. (1935). Sessional PaperNo II-
  141. (1935). Sessional PaperNo XXIV-
  142. (1935). SessionalPaperNo IX -1935. Interim Reportofthe Special Departmental Committee on the Administration ofPrisons andthe TreatmentofPrisoners",
  143. (1995). Signs Taken for Wonders", in The Post-Colonial Studies Reader,
  144. (1987). Sri Lanka Law ofParent andChild,
  145. (1991). Stainton Rogers 1992; Wallace 1968; Wood 1988). This is despite the fact that Piaget himselfwas less concerned with the process oflearning than the development ofcognition in its entirety (Davis,1991).
  146. (1997). Statistics on Working Children andHazardous ChildLabour
  147. (1992). Statistics: Local and Foreign Adoption", Colombo: DepartmentofProbation and Child Care Services.
  148. (1992). Stories ofChildhood: ShiftingAgendasofChildConcern, London: Harvester Wheatsheaf Stephens, doi
  149. Strategies for Eliminating Child Labour:Prevention, Removal and Rehabilitation.
  150. (1919). Technical Committee ofExperts, Report on Child Employment." International Conventions.
  151. (1994). The Best Interests ofthe Child: A South Asian Perspective", doi
  152. (1995). The Case for Children's Rights: a Progress Report",
  153. (1985). The Changing Needs ofChildren: The Experience ofSri
  154. (1990). The ChildSurveillance Handbook,
  155. The choice ofthe 1933 Act was inspired by the Secretary ofState for the Colonies, who "suggested that any action taken should as far as possible be in conformity with the principles ofa model Ordinance a copy ofwhich was forwarded by him.
  156. (1992). The Colombo model illustrates rather well Robertson's idea ofrelativisation, that is the that entities, collectivities, are constrained to position themselves in relation to his global points ofreference, in this case rights and childhood
  157. (1992). The Conceptof"Best Interests" in Terms ofthe UN Convention on 351the Rights ofthe Child",
  158. (1975). The ConceptofLaw,
  159. (1989). The Convention on the Rights ofthe Child doi
  160. (1990). The Convention on the Rights ofthe Child: Prospects for International Enforcement", Human Rights Quarterly, doi
  161. (1987). The Creation ofCustomaryLaw' in Senegal", in The Political EconomyofLaw, edited by
  162. (1957). The Employment ofChildren Regulations
  163. (1993). The Folly ofthe 'Social Scientific' Concept ofLegal Pluralism", JournalofLaw andSociety,
  164. (1990). The History ofSexuality Volume 1: An Introduction,
  165. (1939). The juvenile courts in Sri Lanka continue to work within the frame ofreference established by the Children and Young Persons Ordinance
  166. (1993). The Laws andCustoms ofthe Sinhalese or Kandyan Law,
  167. (1987). The Laws ofRetlection: NelsonMandela, InAdmiration," in For Nelson Mandela, edited by J. Derrida andM. Tilili,
  168. (1991). The Plan ofAction
  169. (1984). The Plantation Sector in Sri Lanka:Recent Changes in the Welfare ofChildren and Women", doi
  170. (1942). The police action seemed to be contrary to the existing legislative framework. At 15 Ganesa and Amirtha came into the category of "young person" according to the provisions ofthe Employment Act (section 34). The Factories Ordinance
  171. (1980). The PolicingofFamilies: Welfare versus the State,
  172. (1996). The Postmodern Child", doi
  173. (1994). The RelationshipBetween Education andChild Work,
  174. (1986). The repressive response to child work embodied, in the Plan ofAction and the Technical Committee report, is in contrast to the approach adopted by the governments ofIndia and Pakistan. For example, both countries passed legislation relatively recently
  175. (1991). The research ofRisseeuw
  176. (1983). The Rights andWrongsofChildren,
  177. (1992). The Rights ofthe Minor: as Person, as Child, as Juvenile, as Future Adult", doi
  178. (1988). The Rise and Rise ofInformalism", in InformalJustice?, edited by R.
  179. (1982). The Sinhala Peasant,
  180. (1992). The UnitedNations Convention on the Rightsofthe Child: A Guide to the "Travaux Preparatoires", Dordrecht, The Netherlands; London: Martinus Nijhoff Devendra,
  181. (1996). The Unreason ofGlobalization andthe Reason ofHuman Rights",
  182. (1994). TheBest Interests ofthe Child- Principles and Problems",
  183. (1995). TheMorality ofCultural Pluralism", The InternationalJournalofChildren's Rights,
  184. (1955). Theoretical Setting-1954, edited by
  185. (1992). TheRelevanceofTheories ofNatural Lawand Legal Positivism", in The Ideologies ofChildren's Rights, editedby M.D.A. Freeman and P.Veerman,
  186. (1996). TheSpecialist Court is run by a relatively small number ofpeople. There is only one juvenile magistrate, in
  187. (1991). TheUnitedNations on the Rights ofthe Child", InternationalJournalofLaw andthe Family,
  188. (1999). This is the basic premise ofthe recent Worst Forms ofChild Labour Convention
  189. (1992). To develop his analysis ofglobal interaction, Robertson stresses the need to focus 19on empirical situations, "on actual intersocietal and intercivilisational encounters"
  190. (1995). Toward a New Common Sense: Law, doi
  191. (1985). Towards a Critical Theory ofFamily Law",
  192. (1994). Transforming Qualitative Data: Description, Analysisand Interpretation, Thousand Oaks,
  193. (1979). Truth andPower: an interviewwithMichel Foucault",
  194. Underlying this theme oflimits is a theoretical position derived from Foucault
  195. UNICEF and ILO in Joint Fight Against ChildLabour", World ofWork, The Magazine ofthe ILO,
  196. (1998). Voices ofSufferingand the Future ofHumanRights", mimeo from article in Transnational Law andContemporaryProblems 8.
  197. (1984). Was ist Aufklarung?", in The Foucault Reader: An Introduction to Foucault's Thought, edited by P. Rabinow,
  198. (1987). Welfare, PowerandJuvenile Justice: The Social ControlofDelinquent Youth,
  199. (1994). What did States Really Agree to? Qualifications of Signatories to UnitedNations Convention on the Rights ofthe Child", InternationalJournalofChildren's Rights, doi
  200. (1990). Who are You Kidding? Children, Power, and the Struggle against Sexual Abuse", in ConstructingandReconstructing Childhood:
  201. (1994). Why Children Shouldn't Have Equal Rights", The InternationalJournalofChildren's Rights, doi
  202. (1994). Why Children Still Shouldn'tHave Equal Rights", doi
  203. Why IPEC?"
  204. (1994). With me, it's all words, all linear."
  205. (1994). Workingthe Hyphens", in HandbookofQualitative Research,
  206. (1990). Writing Within: Anthropology, Nationalism, and Culture in Sri Lanka", Current Anthropology, doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.