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Developing the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children

Video of Nigel Cantwell explaining the Guidelines.

In this video, international expert Nigel Cantwell is being interviewed by Charles McFarlane. Nigel Cantwell has been working for the human rights of children for over 30 years. His experience comprises both the development of international standards and helping to devise policies for their implementation at national level. Nigel’s special focus has become the protection of children’s rights in alternative care and in adoption. He has carried out assessments of child protection systems on all continents, has written and lectured extensively on these issues, and was lead consultant for the development of the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children.

Charles lives in Scotland and has care experience himself. Charles is interested to know why the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children were developed.

Nigel is able to use his first-hand experience being involved in the drafting of the Guidelines to explain the reason they were developed. He speaks about how the concerns regarding children coming into care unnecessarily – and into care without proper standards – were issues that prompted their inception. He explains how the Guidelines were thought necessary because globally many preventive or responsive actions have not been good enough and how this led to the perceived need to develop international standards – guidelines rather than obligations – for promoting good practice. Nigel explains how the Guidelines have set out the way in which the international community has agreed that countries might best move forward in the sphere of alternative care.

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Getting Care Right for All Children: Implementing the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children

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