Introducing a paper and mini blog series by Sarah M. Field born of a probe of the thematic resolutions on children from an international law, human rights and child rights perspective.
The agreement by the Security Council to adopt thematic resolutions on children is a powerful expression of our collective commitment to children and their rights: specifically to ensuring children’s right to protection from serious violations of international law. Still history is replete with examples of protectionism by powerful decision-makers; not all follow a rights-based approach as entrenched within international human rights law. The objective of this paper is to investigate the decision-making processes and related outcomes of the Security Council from the perspective of international law. At the core of this investigation is an analysis of two interconnected dynamics: first the extent to which the Council is bound – under the Charter of the United Nations – by the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC); and second the extent to which the Council is in compliance with these obligations. This includes de-constructing the resolutions from the perspective of the procedural right of the best interests of the child and also assessing the outcomes with reference to the Council’s primary responsibility – the maintenance of peace and security. Attentive to the normative power of the Security Council’s decisions and recommendations, the paper cuts deeper to investigate: (i) the legal effects of the resolutions for the development international law relating to children and (ii) the consequences for children’s right to protection from serious violations of international law – present and future.