BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN THEORY AND PRACTICE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD IN INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE
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The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which was ratified by the UN General Assembly in 1989, was widely recognized and quickly adopted by many countries. It has been ratified by every nation in the world except USA. The purpose of this paper is to exemplify and discuss implementation of the CRC from different perspectives – global, national and local. The questions are: Has the CRC contributed to changes and if so, in what respects? Could the CRC be used as a tool for change? Empirical material for the paper is obtained from experiences from change work on children’s rights in Zambia and South Africa within the context of an international training programme, Child Rights, Classroom and School Management (2003-2016), run by Lund University, Sweden and financed by Sida (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency). The CRC has significant impact globally on e.g. legislation, policies and curricula. Children’s rights has become a significant field of study within research. Knowledge about children’s rights and children’s living conditions has increased considerably during the last centuries. Experiences from change work within education show that it is possible to achieve sustainable changes to the benefit of children. People trained to be change agents play an important role in challenging existing norms that obstruct implementation of children’s rights. Experiences show how obstructions and challenges as well as interpretation and practice of the CRC varies in different contexts. Progress is taking place, but there is still a long way to go to make children’s rights real in all aspects.