Every day millions of children in developing countries face adversities of many kinds, yet there is a shortage of sound evidence concerning their plight and an urgent need to identify the most appropriate and effective policy responses from among the multiple approaches that exist. This collection of journal papers aims to engage with researchers and debates in the field so as to understand better some of the numerous risks confronted by children in developing countries. It highlights the complexity of protecting children in various forms of adversity, challenges conventional wisdom about what protects children, demonstrates why it is essential to consult with children to protect them successfully, and suggests that successful protection must be based on strong empirical understanding of the situation and the perspectives of children and communities involved.
The contributors are all experienced researchers and practitioners who have worked for many years with children in developing countries. The book offers suggestions for reform of current child protection policies, based on empirical findings around a range of child protection concerns, including children’s work, independent migration, family separation, early marriage, and military occupation. Together, the contributions provide a body of knowledge important to humanitarian and development policy and practice.
This book was published as a special issue of Development in Practice.
Table of Contents
Preface 1. Introduction: Development, children, and protection Part I Things Fall Apart 2. Beyond war: "Suffering" among displaced Congolese children in Dar es Salaam 3. Protecting children from trafficking in Benin: In need of politics and participation 4. The spatialization of child protection: notes from the occupied Palestinian territory 5. Following the law, but losing the spirit of child protection in Kenya Part II. The Importance of Context 6. Children’s migration for work in Bangladesh: The policy implications of intra-household relations 7. Child protection and harmful traditional practices: female early marriage and genital modification in Ethiopia 8. Global priorities against local context: Protecting Bhutanese refugee children in Nepal Part III. The Effects of Poverty 9. Rethinking orphanhood and vulnerability in Ethiopia 10. Children’s responses to risk in agricultural work in Andhra Pradesh, India 11. "Risky Lives": Risk and protection for children growing-up in poverty Part IV. Interventions 12. Action research exploring information communication technologies (ICT) and child protection in Thailand 13. Child protection: A role for conditional cash transfer programmes? 14. Listening to Iraqi refugee children in Jordan, but then what? Exploring the impact of participatory research with children Part V. Reflections 15. Concluding reflections: How might we really protect children?
Michael Bourdillon is a professor emeritus in the Department of Sociology at the University of Zimbabwe and an honorary fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute. He has worked with street children in Harare, and with working children locally and internationally; and he has published extensively in this field.
William Myers is retired from the United Nations, where he addressed child work issues with UNICEF and the ILO. He is currently an associate in the Department of Human and Community Development at the University of California, Davis.