Advertisement

Children’s Rights as Human Rights: Reading the UNCRC

  • Michael Freeman

Abstract

In The Alchemy of Race and Rights Patricia Williams writes:

For the historically disempowered, the conferring of rights is symbolic of all the denied aspects of their humanity: rights imply a respect that places one in the referential range of self and others, that elevates one’s status from human body to social being. (Williams, 1991, 163)

She is not writing about children — they do not feature in her argument — but about African Americans and women. But what she says is all too pertinent in other contexts too: to children, to the learning disabled, the mentally ill and older people. There are trenchant critiques (within Critical Legal Scholarship, for example) of this emphasis on the importance of rights — these can be traced back to Bentham (1987) for whom rights were ‘nonsense upon stilts’ and Sumner (1987, 111–112), and to Marx’s famous essay ‘On the Jewish Question’ (1992); but, as Robert Williams (1987) noted in an essay advocating ‘taking rights aggressively’, this may reflect blindness to the privileged position from which they make their arguments.

Keywords

Child Labour Corporal Punishment Female Genital Mutilation Childhood Study Street Child 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Alderson, P. (1993) Children’s Consent to Surgery. Buckingham: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Alderson, P., J. Hawthorne and M. Killen (2005) ‘The Participation Rights of Premature Babies’, International Journal of Children’s Rights, 13(1–2): 31–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Alston, P. (1994) ‘The Best Interests Principle: Towards a Reconciliation of Culture and Human Rights’, International Journal of Law and the Family, 8(1): 1–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Archard, D. (2004) Children: Rights and Childhood. 2nd edn., London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  5. Arendt, H. (1986) The Origins of Totalitarianism. London: André Deutsch.Google Scholar
  6. Ariès, P. (1960) L’Enfant et la Familiale Sous L’Ancien Régime. Paris: Libraire Plon.Google Scholar
  7. Ariès, P. (1962) Centuries of Childhood. London: Jonathan Cape.Google Scholar
  8. Asquith, S. (1996) ‘When Children Kill Children 3’, Childhood, 3(1): 99–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ball, H.V. and L.M. Friedman (1965) ‘The Use of Criminal Sanctions in the Enforcement of Economic Legislation: A Sociological View’, 17 Stanford Law Review. 197.Google Scholar
  10. Belsey, C. (1999) Shakespeare and the Loss of Eden. New Brunswick NJ: Rutgers University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bentham, J. (1987) ‘Anarchical Fallacies’, in J. Waldron (ed.) Nonsense Upon Stilts. London: Methusen.Google Scholar
  12. Berger, M. (1952) Equality By Statute. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Besson, S. (2005) ‘The Principle of Non-discrimination in the Convention on the Rights of the Child’, International Journal of Children’s Rights, 13(4): 433–461.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Bindel, J. (2006) ‘Six Weeks of Suffering’, The Guardian, 18 August, p. 35.Google Scholar
  15. Bissett-Johnson, A. (1994) ‘What Did States Really Agree To? Qualifications of Signatories to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child’, International Journal of Children’s Rights, 2(4): 399–411.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Bitensky, S.H. (2006) Corporal Punishment of Children — a Human Rights Violation. Ardsley NY: Transnational Publication.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Brazier, M. and C. Bridge (1996) ‘Coercion or Caring: Analysing Adolescent Autonomy’, Legal Studies, 16(1): 84–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Brems, E. (2006a) ‘Above Children’s Heads: The Headscarf Controversy in European Schools from the Perspective of Children’s Rights’, International Journal of Children’s Rights, 14(2): 119–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Brems, E. (2006b) Article 14 — the Right to Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff.Google Scholar
  20. Brennan, C. (2002) ‘Children’s Choices or Children’s Interests: Which Do Their Rights Protect?’ in D. Archard and C. Macleod (eds) The Moral and Political Status of Children. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 53–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Brighouse, H. (2002) ‘What Rights (If any) Do Children Have?’ in D. Archard and C. Macleod (eds) The Moral and Political Status of Children. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 31–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Brown, W. (1995) States of Injury. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Chirwa, D.M. (2002) ‘The Merits and Demerits of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of The Child’, International Journal of Children’s Rights, 10(2): 157–177.Google Scholar
  24. Delaney, C. (1998) Abraham on Trial. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Donzelot, J. (1979) The Policing of Families. New York: Patheon Books.Google Scholar
  26. Dworkin, R. (1977) Taking Rights Seriously. London: Duckworth.Google Scholar
  27. Dwyer, J.G. (1998) Religious Schools v. Children’s Rights. Ithaca NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Dwyer, J.G. (2006) The Relationship Rights of Children. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Eekelaar, J. (1994) ‘The Interests of the Child and the Child’s Wishes: The Role of Dynamic Self-Determinism’, International Journal of Law and the Family, 8(1): 42–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ennew, J. (2000) ‘Why the Convention Is Not about Street Children’, in D. Fottrell (ed.) Revisiting Children’s Rights. The Hague: Kluwer Law International, pp. 169–182.Google Scholar
  31. Etzioni, A. (1993) The Spirit of Community. New York: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
  32. Federle, K.H. (1994) ‘Rights Flow Downhill’, International Journal of Children’s Rights, 2(4): 343–368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Feinberg, J. (1980) ‘The Child’s Right to an Open Future’, in W. Aiken and H. LaFollette (eds) Whose Child? Totowa NJ: Rowan and Littlefield.Google Scholar
  34. Fortin, J. (2003) Children’s Rights and the Developing Law. London: Lexis Nexis.Google Scholar
  35. Fortin, J. (2004) ‘Children’s Rights: Are the Courts Taking Them More Seriously?’ King’s College Law Journal, 15: 253–273.Google Scholar
  36. Foucault, M. (1977) Discipline and Punish. London: Allen Lane.Google Scholar
  37. Freeman, M. (1983) The Rights and Wrongs of Children. London: Frances Pinter.Google Scholar
  38. Freeman, M. (1989) ‘Cleveland, Butler-Sloss and Beyond — How Are We To React to the Sexual Abuse of Children?’ Current Legal Problems. 42: 85–134.Google Scholar
  39. Freeman, M. (1995) ‘The Morality of Cultural Pluralism’, International Journal of Children’s Rights, 3(1): 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Freeman, M. (1997) ‘The James Bulger Tragedy: Childish Innocence and the Construction of Guilt’, in M. Freeman (ed.) The Moral Status of Children. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, pp. 235–253.Google Scholar
  41. Freeman, M. (2000) ‘The Future of Children’s Rights’, Children and Society, 14(4): 277–293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Freeman, M. (2005) ‘Rethinking “Gillick”’, International Journal of Children’s Rights, 13(1–2): 201–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Freeman, M. (2007a) Article 3: The Best Interests of The Child. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff.Google Scholar
  44. Freeman, M. (2007b) Understanding Family Law. London: Sweet and Maxwell.Google Scholar
  45. Greven, P. (1990) Spare the Child. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
  46. Grossberg, M. (1985) Governing the Hearth: Law and Family in Nineteenth Century America. Chapel Hill NC: North Carolina Press.Google Scholar
  47. Harris-Short, S. (2003) ‘International Human Rights Law: Imperialist, Inept and Ineffective? Children’s Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of The Child’, Human Rights Quarterly, 25(1): 130–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Hay, C. (1995) ‘Mobilization through Interpretation: James Bulger, Juvenile Crime and the Construction of a Moral Panic’, Social and Legal Studies, 4(2): 197–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Hitch, L.M. (1989) ‘Non-discrimination and the Rights of the Child: Article 2’, New York Law School Journal of Human Rights, 7(1): 47–63.Google Scholar
  50. Hyman, H.H. and P.B. Sheatsley (1964) ‘Altitudes towards Desegregation’, Scientific American, 211(1): 16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Jenks, C. (1996) Childhood. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  52. Johnson, D. (1992) ‘Cultural and Regional Pluralism in the Drafting of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child’, in M. Freeman and P. Veerman (eds) The Ideologies of Children’s Rights. Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff, pp. 95–114.Google Scholar
  53. Kant, I. (1987, originally 1790) Critique of Judgment. Indianapolis: Hackett.Google Scholar
  54. Keating, H. (2007) ‘The “Responsibility” of Children in the Criminal Law’, Child and Family Law Quarterly, 19(2): 183–203.Google Scholar
  55. King, M. (1994) ‘Children’s Rights as Communication; Reflections on Antipoetic Theory and the United Nations Convention’, Modern Law Review, 57(3): 385–401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. King, M. (1995) ‘The James Bulger Murder Trial: Moral Dilemmas and Social Solutions’, International Journal of Children’s Rights, 3(2): 167–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. King, M. (1997) A Better World for Children? London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. King, M. (2004) ‘The Child, Childhood and Children’s Rights within Sociology’, King’s College Law Journal, 15: 273–300.Google Scholar
  59. Libesman, T. (2007) ‘Can International Law Imagine the World of Indigenous Children?’ International Journal of Children’s Rights, 15(2): 283–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Lister, R. (2007) ‘Why Citizenship: Where, When and How Children?’ Theoretical Inquiries in Law, 8(2): 693–718.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Lukes, S. (1993) ‘Five Fables about Human Rights’, in S. Shute and S. Hurley (eds) On Human Rights. New York: Basic Books, pp. 19–40.Google Scholar
  62. Mahoney, J. (2007) The Challenge of Human Rights — Origin, Development and Significance Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  63. Marshall, D. (1999) ‘The Construction of Children as an Object of International Relations: The Declaration of Children’s Rights and the Child Welfare Committee of the League of Nations 1900–1924’, International Journal of Children’s Rights, 7(2): 103–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Marx, K. (1992) ‘On the Jewish Question’, L. Colletti (ed.) in Early Writings. Harmondsworth: Penguin.Google Scholar
  65. Ma son, M. A. (1994) From Father’s Property to Children’s Rights. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  66. Mendez, P.K. (2007) ‘Moving from Words to Action in the Modern Era of Application: A New Approach to Realising Children’s Rights in Armed Conflicts’, International Journal of Children’s Rights, 15(2): 219–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Miller, D.L. (2003) Dreams of the Burning Child. Ithaca NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  68. Mnookin, R. (1975) ‘Child — Custody Adjudication: Judicial Functions in the Face of Indeterminacy’, Law and Contemporary Problems, 39(3): 226–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Morrow, V. (1999) ‘We Are People Too: Children’s and Young People’s Perspectives on Children’s Rights and Decision Making in England’, International Journal of Children’s Rights, 7(2): 149–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Mount, F. (1982) The Subversive Family. London: Jonathan Cape.Google Scholar
  71. Murphy, J.C. (1999) ‘Rules, Responsibility and Commitment to Children: The New Language of Morality in Family Law’, 60 University of Pittsburgh Law Review 1128.Google Scholar
  72. Ncube, W. (1998a) ‘Prospects and Challenges in Eastern and Southern Africa: The Interplay between International Human Rights Norms and Domestic Law, Tradition and Culture’, in W. Ncube (ed.) Law, Culture, Tradition and Children’s Rights in Eastern and Southern Africa. Aldershot: Dartmouth.Google Scholar
  73. Ncube, W. (1998b) ‘The African Cultural Fingerprint? The Changing Concept of Childhood’, in W. Ncube (ed.) Law, Culture, Tradition and Children’s Rights in Eastern and Southern Africa. Aldershot: Dartmouth.Google Scholar
  74. O’Neill, O. (1988) ‘Children’s Rights and Children’s Lives’, Ethics, 98(3): 445–463.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Pais, M.S. (1992) ‘The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child’, Bulletin of Human Rights, 91/2: 75–82.Google Scholar
  76. Parker, S. (1994) ‘The Best Interests of the Child; Principles and Problems’, International Journal of Law and the Family, 8(1): 26–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Platt, A. (1979) The Child Savers. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  78. Rawls, J. (1993) ‘The Law of Peoples’, in S. Shute and S. Hurley (eds) On Human Rights, New York: Basic Books, pp. 41–82.Google Scholar
  79. Reece, H. (1996) ‘The Paramountcy Principle: Consensus or Construct?’ 46 Current Legal Problems, 267.Google Scholar
  80. Renteln, A.D. (2004) The Cultural Defense. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  81. Roche, J. (1999) ‘Children: Rights, Participation and Citizenship’, Childhood, 6(4): 475–493.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Sait, M.S. (2000) ‘Islamic Perspectives on the Rights of The Child’, in D. Fottrell (ed.) Revisiting Children’s Rights. The Hague: Kluwer Law International.Google Scholar
  83. Sawyer, C. (2006) ‘Not Every Child Matters: The UK’s Expulsion of British Citizens’, International Journal of Children’s Rights, 14(2): 157–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Scheinin, M. (1995) ‘The Right to Social Security’, in A. Eide, C. Krause and A. Rosas (eds) Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: A Textbook. Dordrecht: Nijhoff.Google Scholar
  85. Sumner, L. (1987) The Moral Foundation of Rights. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  86. Thomas, N. (2007) ‘Towards a Theory of Children’s Participation’, International Journal of Children’s Rights, 15(2): 199–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Thorgeirsdóttir, H. (2006) Article 13 — the Right To Freedom of Expression. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff.Google Scholar
  88. Tobin, J. (2006) ‘Beyond the Supermarket Shelf: Using a Rights-Based Approach to Address Children’s Health Needs’, International Journal of Children’s Rights, 14(3): 275–306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Todres, J., M. Wojcik and C. Revaz (2006) The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Ardsley NY: Transnational Publications.Google Scholar
  90. Van Boven, T. (2002) ‘Children’s Rights Are Human Rights: Current Issues and Developments’, in J. Williams (ed.) Developmental and Autonomy Rights of Children. Antwerp: Intersentia, pp. 11–19.Google Scholar
  91. Veerman, P. (1992) The Rights of the Child and the Changing Image of Childhood. Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff.Google Scholar
  92. Virgil (1956) The Aeneid, transl. W.F. Jackson Knight, Harmondworth: Penguin.Google Scholar
  93. Weston, B.H. (2007) Child Labour and Human Rights. Boulder CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers.Google Scholar
  94. Williams, P. (1991) The Alchemy of Race and Rights. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  95. Williams, R. (1987) ‘Taking Rights Aggressively: The Perils and Promise of Critical Legal Theory for Peoples of Color’, 5 Law and Inequality, 103–134.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Michael Freeman 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Freeman

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations