Promotion of children's rights and prevention of child maltreatment

Richard Reading, Susan Bissell, Jeffrey Goldhagen, Judith Harwin, Judith Masson, Sian Moynihan, Nigel Parton, Marta Santos Pais, June Thoburn, Elspeth Webb

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

95 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In medical literature, child maltreatment is considered as a public-health problem or an issue of harm to individuals, but less frequently as a violation of children's human rights. Public-health approaches emphasise monitoring, prevention, cost-effectiveness, and population strategies; protective approaches concentrate on the legal and professional response to cases of maltreatment. Both approaches have been associated with improvement in outcomes for children, yet maltreatment remains a major global problem. We describe how children's rights provide a different perspective on child maltreatment, and contribute to both public-health and protective responses. Children's rights as laid out in the UN convention on the rights of the child (UNCRC) provide a framework for understanding child maltreatment as part of a range of violence, harm, and exploitation of children at the individual, institutional, and societal levels. Rights of participation and provision are as important as rights of protection. The principles embodied in the UNCRC are concordant with those of medical ethics. The greatest strength of an approach based on the UNCRC is that it provides a legal instrument for implementing policy, accountability, and social justice, all of which enhance public-health responses. Incorporation of the principles of the UNCRC into laws, research, public-health policy, and professional training and practice will result in further progress in the area of child maltreatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-343
Number of pages12
JournalThe Lancet
Volume373
Issue number9660
Early online date4 Dec 2008
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2009

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Child Abuse
United Nations
Public Health
Medical Ethics
Professional Practice
Social Responsibility
Social Justice
Public Policy
Health Policy
Violence
Cost-Benefit Analysis
Research
Population

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Reading, R., Bissell, S., Goldhagen, J., Harwin, J., Masson, J., Moynihan, S., ... Webb, E. (2009). Promotion of children's rights and prevention of child maltreatment. The Lancet, 373(9660), 332-343. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(08)61709-2
Reading, Richard ; Bissell, Susan ; Goldhagen, Jeffrey ; Harwin, Judith ; Masson, Judith ; Moynihan, Sian ; Parton, Nigel ; Pais, Marta Santos ; Thoburn, June ; Webb, Elspeth. / Promotion of children's rights and prevention of child maltreatment. In: The Lancet. 2009 ; Vol. 373, No. 9660. pp. 332-343.
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Reading, R, Bissell, S, Goldhagen, J, Harwin, J, Masson, J, Moynihan, S, Parton, N, Pais, MS, Thoburn, J & Webb, E 2009, 'Promotion of children's rights and prevention of child maltreatment', The Lancet, vol. 373, no. 9660, pp. 332-343. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(08)61709-2

Promotion of children's rights and prevention of child maltreatment. / Reading, Richard; Bissell, Susan; Goldhagen, Jeffrey; Harwin, Judith; Masson, Judith; Moynihan, Sian; Parton, Nigel; Pais, Marta Santos; Thoburn, June; Webb, Elspeth.

In: The Lancet, Vol. 373, No. 9660, 24.01.2009, p. 332-343.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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Reading R, Bissell S, Goldhagen J, Harwin J, Masson J, Moynihan S et al. Promotion of children's rights and prevention of child maltreatment. The Lancet. 2009 Jan 24;373(9660):332-343. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(08)61709-2