Protecting young victims of conflict and disaster has long been a core activity of western-originating, ‘modern’ humanitarianism. In the late 1990s and early 2000s advocates of the rights-based approach raised questions about the paternalism of this field and its typical engagement of outside ‘experts’ to design interventions based upon their assessment of local need. However, the rights framework has itself been attacked as ethnocentric in its assumptions: a form of colonial imposition in practice.
In this panel we aim to situate child protection, as a field of humanitarian endeavour, in relation to decolonisation efforts within and beyond the academy. Attention to cultural difference is an important, but not sufficient, element of such a task. It is also vital to ask questions abo ..