Dilemmas for international mobilization around child abuse and neglect.



The goal of this commentary is to articulate some issues and dilemmas raised by various efforts to mobilize international action around child abuse and neglect (CAN). We will start by proposing a typology of international mobilization strategies, noting that initiatives to promote CAN programming in new settings have tended to emphasize one of three vectors: governments, professionals, or international NGOs. There are pros and cons to each emphasis, which we discuss. We also review the debates around some of the following dilemmas: Should low-income countries be a top priority for CAN mobilization? Are there cultural and institutional capacities that need to be present in a country in order for CAN programs to work or be ethical? Are some CAN programs more likely to be internationally transferable than others and why so? Has the field adequately considered whether non-CAN programming (e.g., family planning) might actually be more effective at preventing maltreatment than CAN programming? Does the field give adequate acknowledgment that policies and practices emanating from high-resourced and Western countries may not always be the best to disseminate? Are we relying too much on a model of program transplantation over a model of local cultivation? Should we aim for modest rather than ambitious accomplishments in international mobilization? How much emphasis should be placed on the priority dissemination of evidence-based programming? We conclude with some suggestions in the service of clarifying these dilemmas and making some of these decisions more evidence based.



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Child Abuse and Neglect



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