Children's Right to Health
This project will investigate how society, by using various legal instruments, can safeguard the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health (UN Convention on the Rights of the Child art. 24), hereafter called the right to health. The primary objective is to safeguard children's rights in health matters balancing participation and protection, and balancing the rights and duties of the parents and children's rights, and the responsibility of the state. Health is a decisive factor in the formative conditions for children, which play a critical role in outcomes during the life cycle. The international and national legal framework on health care for children is crucial as law plays a vital role in advancing the right to health.  The character, meaning and consequences of the new provision in the Norwegian Constitution on children's rights to health, needs to be analyzed and questioned.

Some children are in a special vulnerable situation and the principle of equal rights to health may be challenged. Two examples: Children in child welfare services have an increased incidence of health problems, compared to the rest of the child population. Another cause of concern is children with unclarified residential status in Norway. The project will investigate if and how it is possible to use legal tools in order to promote their resilience towards discrimination in health matter.

The population in Norway is becoming increasingly heterogenic with respect to religion, cultural background and view of life, which has consequences for substantial and organizational questions related to health care for children, equal treatment and for the child/parent dimension.  

The intention is to develop a theoretical model on how to understand children’s rights in health matters from a Nordic welfare state perspective. This model might later be of general value for research on other child-oriented legal questions.

Funding: The Norwegian Research Council (11 213 000 NOK)
Project period: 2020-2024