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  The UN Convention    

Modern childhood, the UN Conventions on the Rights of the Child, mentioned earlier, which is a unique document ratified by 192 countries in the world, except one country in the UN, the United States. Reflected by the changes in society, its moral and political attitudes, it’s a holistic view on children and highly respective that children are people therefore they are entitled to all human rights. And I think, and I have seen since I have been working internationally on children’s issues since the beginning of the 80s that the conventions are redefining, globally, our views on what childhood is and it’s primarily a proactive document, not reactive. Though in debate, also what is happening now in England, some of the parliamentarians want to incorporate fully the Conventions which we have done in Norway after a strong fight between the Government and Ombudsman. Now it’s in, the parliament passed legislation so from the 1st October 2004 it's fully incorporated, which means it's law in Norway. It is a strong legislation, but it is not only a legislative document, it’s also a political and social document and we have to remember that. So we don’t move all cases into the courtroom and child welfare will be defined by exercises in the courtroom by lawyers. It should be everyone’s responsibility to develop a good child policy and child welfare system.

So the Child’s Rights generation, if you go into the Convention, consists of the three P’s, Protection, Participation and Provision and if you go into the Geneva document websites and see all the reports coming from States, they always start with protection and then they go to provision and then, maybe, if they have time, money and space they say something about participation. As if that’s the way we should think, but the Convention says completely different and that’s the platform for my work as an ombudsman. That is it should be seen as a dynamic process, that you have protection, provision and participation interacting with each other. The best way of protection is of course participation.

The UN Convention