Studies, Reviews and Research

Protect my future: The links between child protection and good governance

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Family for Every Child

This paper, written by  Ghazal Keshavarzian, an Independent Consultant working for Family for Every Child, is part of an inter-agency series on the links between child protection and major development goals. 

The lack of adequate care and protection of children is a global crisis, with millions of girls and boys engaged in exploitative child labour or living on the streets, neglected or abused within families, or poorly cared for in institutions.  Governments are primarily responsible for addressing this crisis and need to provide the necessary leadership to ensure the effective care and protection of such vulnerable children.  This paper suggests that governments are failing to fulfil these obligations and that this failure is closely linked to the extremely weak governance of the child protection sector. It explores this issue in relation to three key components of governance: establishing the rule of law; ensuring effective, equitable, and responsive service delivery; and public administration and civil society accountability.

The paper concludes by examining implications for the framework that will replace the current Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) when they come to an end in 2015. It  argues that a focus on governance is an essential component of these goals, but that specific measures must be taken to ensure that any improvements in governance extend to the relatively neglected – but vital – area of child protection.

Other papers in this series address subjects including population dynamics, growth, equity,  health and emergencies.

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