The child protection policy-making process is not an isolated and independent process but it is influenced by so many dynamics and factors. Some of the important factors influencing the child protection policy-making process are mentioned here.
1. International Conventions, Treaties and Optional Protocols
International conventions, treaties and additional protocols are the standards and measures agreed by almost all the nations of the world. Following and incorporating these agreements in policies and legislation becomes the international norm. Some or whole of these conventions such United Nations Convention on the Rights of Child and its optional protocols are included in the child protection policies and legislations of countries of the world.
2. High Profile Cases and Inquiries
High-profile cases and inquiries greatly influence the child protection policy-making process. Such high-profile cases force the governments to take action for appeasing the mass. Although, legislative and policy responses are populist and aimed at appeasing the people rather than addressing the root cause of the issue.
3. Lobbies, Civil Society and Child Rights Groups
People, civil society, child rights activists and professionals working with children mostly influence the child protection policy-making and legislation process. The loudest one is heard most. Usually, the people with a research background in policy are also consulted but being loud and vocal, the child rights activists are consulted more.
Populis influence the child protection policy and legislation process. Populism is a serious problem in the public policy process and legislation. Wish for winning the polls and appeasing the masses mostly force the political leadership for taking populist policy measures which sound good to people but only the genuine experts can know what are the consequences of those policy decisions. Even sometimes such decisions prove counterproductive and harm the cause of protecting the children.
5. Changing Local and National Norms
Multiple factors including globalization and changing social and cultural patterns etc influence and change the social norms which influence public opinion. Ultimately, change in public opinion influences the child protection policy and legislation.
6. Historical Process
The process of child protection policy-making and legislation is evolutionary and historical in nature. It is important to know that how it was started, where it is now and where it is leading? This continuation, its pace and direction always influence the child protection policy and legislation process.
7. Political Stability and Consistency of Policies
Issues related to children require consistent policy processes, continuous review and due attention. This is possible with the political stability of a country where this process is going on. Without political stability and consistency in pursuing the child protection policy goals, it becomes difficult to understand and solve the issues related to the protection of children.
8. Priority of Human Rights in a Country
Child rights are actually an inseparable part of human rights. Prioritizing child rights and their protection comes human rights. An environment of respect for human rights provides conducive grounds for achieving the goals of child protection.
9. Socio-economic Status
It is not enough to legislate and draft a document for child protection policy. It requires financial resources, budget allocation, institutions building, recruitment of skilled human resources and infrastructure to implement the law and child protection policies. Priorities and availability of financial resources greatly influence the child protection policy and legislataion.
10. Media and Public Opinion
Media plays a vital role in the formulation of public opinion on the wide range of issues related to child protection. Content of the news, the direction of debate, reporting patterns, sensationalization, emotionally charging the masses, covering the selected dimensions of an issue for getting more viewership affect the child protection policy and legislation process.
For a child protection professional, policymaker, legislator, parliamentarian and anyone working with children, It is important to know that what are the factors which influence child protection policymaking and its implementation. Its prior knowledge is helpful for improving the ways to protect the children positively utilizing these factors rather than falling prey.