Institutionalizing toddlers – A Human Rights violation? An Ethnographic study of whether the practice of the comprehensive institutionalization of one-year-old`s sufficiently safeguards children`s rights according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child articles 3, 6 (no.2) and 12, assessed against neuro affective development psychology.
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The aim of this master thesis research project has been to evaluate whether the practice of the comprehensive institutionalization of one-year-olds sufficiently safeguards these children`s rights as stated in articles 3, 6 (no.2) and 12 in the Convention on the Rights of The Child (CRC). These articles concern their right to have every decision made in their best interest, their right to gain development to the maximum extent possible as well as their right to be heard. Neuro affective development psychology show that the quality of the emotional communication between young children and their caregivers is highly significant for the child’s ability to develop to the maximum extent possible (Heradstveit, 2014). It also suggests that attachment behavior1 displayed by these children may play a vital role regarding their development, as keeping proximity to their primary caregivers actually is of great importance when it comes to their development. By using the method of ethnography, I have attempted to evaluate the emotional communication between staff members and children, and whether these toddlers persistent and continuous need for their caregiver’s continuous emotional availability is safeguarded. I have also attempted to evaluate to what extent these children`s right to be heard is safeguarded as their display of attachment behavior is often overlooked when separated from their parent. My findings suggest that the comprehensive institutionalization of these young children may be considered to be a threat to both these children`s right to gain development to the maximum extent possible as well as their right to be heard, and therefore also a threat to their right to have every decision made in their best interest