Human Rights Abuse in Aspects of Child Protection Practice? by ProQuest


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									Human Rights Abuse in Aspects
of Child Protection Practice?

 This article examines some aspects of child protection practice in various
 Australian states. It does so from a parent’s perspective through the
 framework of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and the
 Convention on the Rights of the Child (1990). Australia was a signatory to
 both the Declaration and Convention at their point of inception. Of particular
 interest are articles 5 and 12 of the Universal Declaration and articles 5 and
 9(3) of the Convention. The tentative conclusion is that the states cited in
 this article are from time to time in breach of these articles. The potential
 Australian Charter of Rights offers a way forward as a guide to development
 of legislation and service systems that will ensure the rights of children and
 parents while maintaining child wellbeing as a top priority.
 Keywords: child protection, human rights, parents’ perspective

Human	Rights	Abuse	in	Aspects	of	Child	Protection	Practice?

               A parents’ perspective
               The authors of this article are unequivocally against all forms of child abuse or
               neglect. We are equally committed to listening to the voices of parents who have
               had children removed from their care. The best interest of the child doctrine
               (Goldstein, Solnit, Goldstein and Freud 1998) all too readily contributes to
               the silencing of the voices of these parents. Compounding the issue is the well
               documented disrespect shown to parents by some child protection caseworkers
               (Klease 2006; Klease 2008; Harries 2007; Clary et al. 2007; Holmes 2009). For
               this reason this article is unashamedly written from a parents’ perspective. We
               know that this is an unpopular position but in our view social justice principles
               apply to parents who may have abused or neglected their children just as much
               as to those who have not. Parents’ stories need to heard and understood if
               child protection practice is to be both effective and humane. These matters are
               addressed through a human rights framework since both children and parents,
               even abusive and neglectful parents, have human rights.

               The framework of human rights
               The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was
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