A Local Right to Health for Children. Why a human rights-based approach to youth care can guide Dutch municipalities in a period of youth care decentralization
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This thesis centers on the integration of a human rights-based approach (HRBA) in local youth care policymaking efforts. From a human rights perspective, every Dutch municipality is obligated to progressively realize a child’s right to health. But serious doubts have been voiced about municipalities’ abilities to do so, as the decentralisation of youth care to municipalities (2015) is accompanied by severe austerity measures and municipalities are experimenting with relatively new working methods. First, the thesis explores the historical development of a human right to health and the associated obligations for states. Then, the thesis identifies how these human rights principles are policy-oriented and can be applied in municipal youth policy. Finally, the risks of a neighborhood approach (neighborhood teams) are identified and the strengths and weaknesses of human rights-based youth care interventions in countering these risks (by analyzing human rights-based youth care interventions from Swedish municipalities).