Ashleigh Barnes


The Convention on the Rights of the Child imagines the child to be in a particularpositionalmatrix: the famiy or some similar form of 'care' This article employs a textual analysis of the CRC to examine this matrix of care; in other words this article examines how the parent, the state, and the child are positioned in relation to each other in the CRC. It argues that the positional matrix portraed in the CRCis hierarchical, where the adult positioned over the child. As such, the child is only given autonomy and protection rzghts that buttress this hierarchy. In many instances, the family andparentsperform as the CRC imagines the should. However, as trafficking of children illustrates, not all children have a responsible adult who has their best interests as a concern and keeps in mind their evolvng capacities. The traficking of children by parents illustrate that was in which priileging the family, and thus the position the parent holds over the child, can make certain children more vulnerable. In this way, care, as defined as the adultpositioned over the child or 'dependencj' (on a parent) and, as such vulnerability become markers of childhood. Unlike other human rizghts discourses that seek to redress hierarchies; the CRC reinforces and even sustains the inequalities between adults and children. Unlike any other human rizghts discourse that offers protections from the state, the CRC also offers children protection from themselves, as if children suffer subjugation, inequality, disenfranchisement, and mistreatment from themselves. Unlke the definition of the famiy in the CRC ' Preamble, from which all members of the human family have equal and inalienable rights, the child fnds him or hersel in this version of famiy ith inequalify and rghts that are alienable because this person has been defined in the CRC as a 'child'.

Custom Citation

Ashleigh Barnes, 'The Trafficking of Children: A Counter-Narrative to the CRC's Construction of 'Care' (2013) 9(2) Socio-Legal Review 51

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)