NOS-HS Workshop Series: Transnational Childhoods, Transnational Rights? Nordic Responses to Global Challenges in the Field of Child Protection

Research group

Transnational childhoods, transnational rights is a series of three explorative workshops that examine children’s rights, realities and protection in transnational contexts in Nordic societies. The workshops are funded by NOS-HS, the joint committee for Nordic research councils in the humanities and social sciences.

WE ARE NOW INVITING PARTICIPANTS AND PAPERS TO THE FIRST WORKSHOP!

Scroll down for the paper submission link & the invitation and call for papers.

 

Background

The contemporary phenomena of transnational interaction and mobility generate new social relations and pose challenges for child protection. The number of transnational child welfare cases handled by Nordic social workers and other authorities has increased in recent years. However, social services such as child protection are traditionally understood and institutionally organized in territorial terms. When mobility involves abusive situations abroad, few services or legal and bureaucratic means for intervention are available to help the children, and may not be suitable for the diverse forms of harmful situations.

Transnational family relations and social spheres provide various strengths and sources of identity and belonging, but the transnational element may also contribute to power imbalances within families, adding to the hardships of the less powerful family members. In principle, parents and other guardians of the child are obligated to act in the best interests of the child. In practice, however, the authority of parents to decide about their child’s travelling, stays abroad or even moving abroad is almost unlimited. Problematic situations can emerge, for example, in cases of substance abuse when the family is staying abroad, children’s or young people’s involuntary stays abroad and domestic abuse, forced or child marriage, female genital mutilation, abducting children to avoid intervention by the child welfare authorities or taking children to conflict areas. In addition, transnational child protection also covers out-of-home placements of children in other countries. There is a general tendency towards framing problems related to children staying abroad in scattered and fragmented terms.

 

The NOS-HS workshops in Oslo, Uppsala and Helsinki

The workshops bring together researchers, experts, practitioners, non-governmental organizations and activists from a variety of fields, including sociology, social work, psychology, theology, anthropology, political history and law. The workshops examine the phenomena and address the knowledge gaps under three themes:

The first workshop in Oslo on 20-21 January 2022 focuses on empirical perspectives of problems that children face in transnational settings. The opening workshop of the series seeks to map the diverse phenomena and bring together different actors working in the field of international child protection.

The second workshop in Uppsala in autumn 2022 focuses on transnational childhoods and religion. The workshop aims to shed light on the role of religion and religious communities in the context of transnational child protection.

The third workshop in Helsinki in May 2023 focuses on transnational childhoods and law. All children are entitled to such protection and care as is necessary for their well-being. However, it remains far from clear just how this right is secured in concrete cases involving mobility beyond the territory of a certain state, and how the responsibilities of the state are, in practice, negotiated in different processes.

 

Organizing committee

Silvia Adamo, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen

Anja Bredal, Senior Researcher, Oslo Metropolitan University

Johanna Hiitola, University Lecturer, Gender Studies, Faculty of Education, University of Oulu

Julia Köhler-Olsen, Associate Professor, Department of Social Work, Oslo Metropolitan University

Sanna Mustasaari, Postdoctoral Researcher, UEF Law School, University of Eastern Finland

Mosa Sayed, University Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Uppsala

Nicole Stybnarova, PhD Fellow, Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki

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