The Domestic Compliance System and Compliance Barriers: A UK Child Rights Case Study

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An empirical puzzle exists regarding the failure of state parties to comply with international agreements. Offering new empirical insights, this article aims to enhance understanding of non (or weak) compliance with international human rights agreements by state parties. Documentary analysis supplemented with semi-structured interviews is used to explore UK compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Through the empirical case study, the results provide valuable insights into the domestic compliance system and compliance barriers within the under researched human rights sector. The results show that multiple barriers impact compliance within the UK and its four nations, to varying degrees. Differences also exist regarding the extent to which specific barriers emerge within the state and domestic compliance systems. Lastly, the findings provide evidence to support a cyclical model of the domestic compliance system, thereby advancing the current, linear understanding.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-215
Number of pages21
JournalPolicy Studies
Issue number2
Early online date9 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2023


  • Political Science and International Relations


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