International Human-Rights Supervision Triggering Change in Child-Protection Systems? The Effectiveness of the Recommendations of the CRC Committee in Estonia
Estonia’s legal system is generally regarded as very accepting of international (human-rights) law, with treaties in this domain and associated supervisory practice being implemented directly by national courts. The article analyses whether this extends to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the recommendations of the CRC Committee on ways to improve the Estonian national child-protection system. The main question examined is whether the CRC Committee’s ‘Concluding Observations’ have had an impact and been effective with regard to the Estonian child-protection system.
The article lays out and further develops the framework proposed by Krommendijk for analysing the impact and effectiveness of international human-rights work with respect to national legal systems. The author begins by situating this theoretical framework in the context of the CRC and the Estonian legal system and then providing a brief description of Estonia's reporting process. The bulk of the paper is concerned with research presenting the development of the following elements of the child-protection system in aims of analysing the effectiveness of the CRC Committee's recommendations: general principles with relevance for the child-protection system, the institutional set-up, issues related to the implementation of the child's right to be free from any form of violence (along with any relevant procedural rights), and the placement of a child within the child-protection system.