Time for a Truth-Based Policy: Humanitarian Access to Children Living Without Family Care

42 Pages Posted: 6 May 2015  

Sara A. Dillon

Suffolk University Law School

Date Written: May 2015


In the world today, there is a vast army of invisible children who survive outside the protection of family care, and who are profoundly damaged by abuse and neglect. National and international policies designed to respond to this situation remain vague and ineffective; because this population remains hidden from view, the international community has little incentive to demand beneficial changes in their care.

Despite the existence of doctrines that have grown from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, including the United Nations Guidelines on Children in Alternative Care, much of the expert writing on these children fails to reflect the urgency and severity of the current situation, both in terms of the scale of the problem and the profoundly negative effects of the deprivation being suffered. Children living out of family care bear lifelong damage, their troubled lives often cut short by substance abuse or suicide.

This article makes the argument that national governments should be placed under an international law obligation to provide access to populations of children in care, for purposes of assessing the conditions in which they are living, in a manner analogous to access the international community has come to demand with respect to refugees, criminal and political detainees, and other vulnerable groups.

Suggested Citation

Dillon, Sara A., Time for a Truth-Based Policy: Humanitarian Access to Children Living Without Family Care (May 2015). Florida Journal of International Law, Vol. 27, 2015 (Forthcoming); Suffolk University Law School Research Paper No. 15-22. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2602426

Sara A. Dillon (Contact Author)

Suffolk University Law School ( email )

120 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108-4977
United States

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