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 invited experts to share their insights about racism, colonialism, patriarchy and power as they affect children and families around the world.
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 were broadcast between May-December 2021.
We have created additional resources to support stakeholder’s learning and to further the conversations which can be access below.
Final Analysis Report: A report summarizing the six conversations focusing on problems and solutions. Click here to access the final report.
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.
Briefing Papers: Accompanying briefing papers, which include more information about the session topic and speakers as well as a targeted list of resources.
Blog: Access a blog written about the Reconstructing Rights Institute for the Rights Studio here.
The videos of the Institute have been produced by Luis Saenz.
The artwork for the Institute has been created by Galuh Indri Wiyarti.