Human rights and children's rights

Strauss, D. and Powell, S. (2015) Human rights and children's rights. In: David, T., Goouch, K. and Powell, S., eds. The Routledge International Handbook of Philosophies and Theories of Early Childhood Education and Care. Abingdon, UK: Routledge. pp. 179-188 ISBN 9781138022812

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In 1973, Hilary Rodham Clinton argued that, ‘The phrase children’s rights is a slogan in search of a definition’. This oft repeated claim was challenged by Hodgson (an Australian legal scholar) who argued that decades of attention to the rights of children led by the United Nations (UN) have rendered Clinton’s phrase obsolete (Hodgson 2009). Yet he also lamented the failure of many governments to create mechanisms that allow for enactment of the duties enshrined within the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) (UN 1989) such that there exists in policy and practice a superficial ‘lip service’ (Kiersey 2011), reflecting a ‘child rights veneer’ (Jones and Welch 2010). This inattention to rights per se and to creating a coherent definition for or from policy and practice may be due to numerous political, legal and sociocultural debates and disagreements about childhood, about human rights and about their intersections. Although these debates frequently consider conceptions of childhood (and adulthood) and the ways that socially and culturally constructed understandings of young humans intersect with constructions of moral obligations and legal rights, the ontological basis for disagreements is rarely conveyed explicitly. Yet ontology, which concerns beliefs about the nature of being, has infused rights talk with divergent perspectives and epistemological claims that manifest in a range of theories and practices. It is argued that a reconstructed philosophy of childhood is needed to help inform discussions of children’s rights, drawing on postmodern theories that reject ‘ahistorical, apolitical and psychologized’ accounts (Peters and Johansson 2012:2)...

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1139.2 Early childhood education
L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC0065 Social aspects of education > LC0189 Educational sociology > LC0213 Educational equalization. Right to education
Divisions: Faculty of Education > Research Centre for Children, Families and Communities
Depositing User: Professor Sacha Powell
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2015 15:23
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2015 15:23

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00