Welcome to the Reconstructing Children’s Rights Institute – an online institute about dismantling racism, neo-colonialism, and patriarchy in humanitarian and development efforts to protect children and support families.
Practiced incorrectly and without making explicit the underlying dynamics of power and funding, humanitarian and development aid can cause harm and undermine the dignity and autonomy of those it intends to support, who become othered “beneficiaries.” The axes of power differentiation include class, gender, age and race. The recognition of this imbalance of power is nothing new and has deep-rooted historical underpinnings and constructive critique has been taking place for decades in academia and activist communities. If these inequalities and injustices are apparent across wide swaths of humanitarian action and international development, their roots of racism, neo-colonialism, and patriarchy are especially problematic in a field such as child rights and protection, where the roles of children and caregivers in their families and communities will vary from context to context. As a community we must critically examine this power imbalance.
Accordingly, the CPC Learning Network decided to host the Reconstructing Children’s Rights Institute – a multi-part series of conversations and resources for learning, information sharing and actionable next steps. In this series of critical conversations, we have invited experts to share their insights about racism, colonialism, patriarchy and power as they affect children and families around the world.
The Institute has two overarching goals:
- Demonstrate and engage: Raise awareness and recognition of how racism, patriarchy and power are not just theoretical concepts but very real drivers of inequality, ineffectiveness, and harm in the international child rights and protection sector.
- Sow the seeds and demonstrate action for effective change: Critique the problems inherent in international child protection and child rights but also highlight practical ways to dismantle and reconstruct the existing system.
The Institute is a space in which discussions and resources can tackle hard topics while remaining safe for evolution and growth among those who participate.
A series of pre-recorded online critical conversations will be broadcast between May-July.
Conversation #1 Trailer
Conversation #1: Confronting Colonialism, Racism and Patriarchy in International Relations, Development and the Humanitarian Aid Industry
Conversation #2 Trailer
Conversation #2: Confronting Colonialism, Racism and Patriarchy in Child Welfare and Child Rights Programming
Conversation #3: Confronting Colonialism, Racism and Patriarchy in Funding
We have created additional resources to support stakeholder’s learning and to further the conversations.
- Master Reference List: A list of resources by academics, researchers, practitioners and activists critically examining colonialism, racism and patriarchy in international relations, development and the humanitarian aid industry. This will be continually updated. Click here to see the Master Reference List.
We have developed accompanying briefing papers, which include more information about the session topic and speakers as well as a targeted list of resources.1. Briefing Paper 1: Confronting Colonialism, Racism and Patriarchy in International Relations, Development and the Humanitarian Aid Industries2. Briefing Paper 2: Confronting Colonialism, Racism and Patriarchy in Child Welfare and Child Rights Programming