Author: Andressa Gadda
Title: Rights, Foucault and Power: A critical analysis of the United Nation Convention on the Rights of the Child
In 1989 the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) was ratified by all but two of its members, the United States of America and Somalia. The CRC has been hailed as a victory for the children’s rights movement and according to The International Save the Children Alliance (1999: 5) “over the past ten years it has helped to establish an internationally accepted framework for the treatment of all children, encouraged a positive and optimistic image of children as active holders of rights, and stimulated a greater commitment to safeguarding these rights.” However, the convention has also been highly criticised for its endorsement of Western values (see for example Pupavac, 2001). Nations which are unable or unwilling to adopt the ideals advocated by the CRC are judged to be immoral and in need of salvation. In offering a critique of the convention and contemporary discourses about rights I adopt Foucault’s theorizations about power.