Child Protection Consultation in the Solomon Islands, Capacity Building or Welfare Colonialism

Lester Thompson, Catherine Koerner, Aaron Olofia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Paper published in Proceedingspeer-review


Since 2003, when the Solomon Islands ethnic conflict ended some of the Regional Assistance Mission Solomon Islands (RAMSI) aid agenda has been rectifying damage done to families and child care so that the nation’s future citizens are untroubled by trauma. Part of the Australian UNICEF (Pacific) to assist the Solomon Islands Government to develop systems that will ensure the protection and care of children. UNICEF and a range of other child - protection focussed NGOs comprise a significant presence in Solomon Islands and as they are well staffed and well resourced they appear to have significantly greater impact on the development of child-welfare than does the less well resourced Social Welfare Division (SWD) of the Ministry of Health. This powerimbalance has significant implications for the development of independent democratic nationhood. An important national agenda relating to families and the care of children is being determined by bodies that are external to the national governance. One crucial determinant of the capacity-building /versus/neo-colonial credentials of these efforts relates to the way consultation is carried out within the nation prior to policy and legislative development. Several processes that characterise neo-colonial approaches are highlighted in this paper. The paper argues that external international development agencies and workers (including ex-pats) must centre Solomon Island sovereignty (both Indigenous sovereignty and in state governance) in their approach to child protection consultation as current methods replicate and maintaincolonising relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDirections and Intersections
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 2011 Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association and Indigenous Studies Research Network Joint Conference
EditorsD Riggs, C Due
Place of PublicationAust
PublisherAustralian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)978-0-646-56682-5
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventDirections and Intersections - Surfers Paradise
Duration: 7 Dec 20119 Dec 2011


ConferenceDirections and Intersections


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