Children's human rights in the contexts of domestic abuse and COVID-19



Morrison F & Houghton C (2022) Children's human rights in the contexts of domestic abuse and COVID-19. International Journal of Human Rights.

Domestic abuse is a simultaneous attack on children’s and women’s human rights. Research underlines the relationality of domestic abuse, unveiling the entwined experiences of children and women. While these experiences may be connected, their rights are distinct and there are risks in viewing mothers as proxies for their children. Policy measures introduced to address COVID-19 had profound impacts on the lives of children and women experiencing domestic abuse. Drawing on an independent Children’s Rights Impact Assessment (CRIA) in Scotland, the article explores the impacts such policy measures had on children’s human rights in the context of domestic abuse. It offers insight on the opportunities and limitations of CRIAs when considering the issue of domestic abuse. CRIAs make visible and prioritise children’s human rights; however, they risk masking the relationality of rights and therefore the implementation of children’s human rights. By integrating human rights instruments – the UNCRC and the Istanbul Convention – the article offers ways to recognise children as victims of domestic abuse, while supporting connections between their rights and the women’s rights. It concludes that a Joint Protocol between the UNCRC and the Istanbul Convention is needed to integrate children’s human rights with the relationality of domestic abuse.

Child rights; domestic abuse; COVID-19; UNCRC; Istanbul Convention

Output Status: Forthcoming/Available Online

International Journal of Human Rights

StatusIn Press
FundersScotlands Commissioner For Children & Young People
Publication date online30/04/2022
Date accepted by journal21/03/2022
PublisherInforma UK Limited

People (1)


Dr Fiona Morrison
Dr Fiona Morrison

Senior Lecturer, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology