chapter  15
19 Pages

The human rights of children in the context of formal alternative care

ByNigel Cantwell

The alternative care of children comprises all measures taken, once a child cannot be looked after by his or her parents, for whatever reason. These measures may have to respond to anything from sudden emergencies and short-or medium-term incapacities of various kinds to more durable situations such as the death of the parents, the abandonment of the child or the definitive withdrawal of parental rights and responsibilities. This variety of circumstances and, consequently, of the aims and nature of a given placement indicates the complexities of providing suitable alternative care and, even more, doing so in compliance with the overall human rights of the child. The term “alternative care for children” should never mask the fact that what is at stake is the most appropriate care solution for each individual child.