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Afterword

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 May 2022

Ursula Kilkelly
Affiliation:
University College Cork
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Summary

It is an African proverb that it takes a village to raise a child – a community must share its resources, its knowledge and its wisdom if the potential of the child is to be fulfilled. The same is true of Oberstown in that it took a myriad of influences and influencers over many, many years, to create, shape and implement the vision of rights-based detention for children in Ireland. This book demonstrates that it is possible to put in place a model of child-centred care for children deprived of liberty by explaining the measures, actions and steps required to make it happen. However, we are not naïve enough to think that the Oberstown ‘job’ is done. It will take many more years of hard work and commitment before the change we document here is embedded and the potential of the rights-based approach fulfilled. Nor do we suggest in documenting Ireland's experience, that this is a case study capable of being replicated anywhere. There are simply too many variables to do justice to a comparative analysis, but we do want to conclude this book with a reflection on where else this could happen. In what circumstances could such a project be a success?

Although it is difficult to say with certainty, we consider the following factors to be important. First, we know that the most important starting point is a political commitment to children's rights, to high standards, to wanting something better than prison-like conditions for children. Building consensus around rights-based detention is difficult without a strong, informed civil society, a respect for international instruments, which reflect consensus on these issues, and the work of international organizations that can be leveraged for reform at a national level. But it is impossible without political will and a long-term vision. Culture change requires a disruptive creativity and an almost mission-like desire to challenge orthodox thinking and question approaches that are mainstream. At the same time, vision has to come with substance. The vision has to be thought through so that the solution to the problem being solved is the right one, not the simplest.

Type
Chapter
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Advancing Children's Rights in Detention
A Model for International Reform
, pp. 177 - 179
Publisher: Bristol University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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  • Afterword
  • Ursula Kilkelly, University College Cork, Pat Bergin
  • Book: Advancing Children's Rights in Detention
  • Online publication: 13 May 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.46692/9781529213249.013
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  • Afterword
  • Ursula Kilkelly, University College Cork, Pat Bergin
  • Book: Advancing Children's Rights in Detention
  • Online publication: 13 May 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.46692/9781529213249.013
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Afterword
  • Ursula Kilkelly, University College Cork, Pat Bergin
  • Book: Advancing Children's Rights in Detention
  • Online publication: 13 May 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.46692/9781529213249.013
Available formats
×