Advertisement

Transforming Children’s Rights into Real Freedom: A Dialogue Between Children’s Rights and the Capability Approach from a Life Cycle Perspective

  • Mario BiggeriEmail author
  • Ravi Karkara
Chapter
Part of the Children’s Well-Being: Indicators and Research book series (CHIR, volume 8)

Abstract

This chapter has two main aims. The first is to explore the relationships and synergies between the capability approach (CA) and the human rights approach (HRA) in the case of children. The second is to investigate if it is possible to analyse and to translate into practice this relationship using equity, participatory and life cycle perspectives.

The chapter finds relevant links and synergies between HRA and the CA. These two opportunity oriented approaches, although different, dialogue and complement each other. In particular the HRA can call attention to the child deprivations in the ‘process freedom’, while the CA can concentrate on their causes and assessment. These potential positive synergies between rights and capabilities reveal also some interesting policy implications.

Keywords

Capability Approach Life Cycle Approach Basic Capability Life Cycle Perspective Human Right 
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.

Notes

Acknowledgements

This chapter is the fruit of an encouraging and ongoing debate with several scholars. During this period we have been privileged to receive comments and suggestions from a large number of people, all of which have been very useful to us. In particular, we would like to thank: Caterina Arciprete, Jerome Ballet, Nicolò Bellanca, Sara Bonfanti, Sandra Boni, Jean-Michel Bonvin, Enrica Chiappero-Martinetti, Federico Ciani, David A. Clark, Flavio Comim, Michela Da Rodda, Francesca D’Erasmo, Alex Apsan Frediani, Cristina Devecchi, Diego Di Masi, Maria Laura Di Tommaso, Jean-Luc Dubois, Andrea Ferrannini, Alex A. Frediani, Des Gasper, Caroline Hart, Vittorio Iervese, Leonardo Menchini, Ayacx Mercedes, Giuliana Parodi, Altair Rodriguez, Marina Santi, Daniel Stoecklin, Lorella Terzi, Elaine Unterhalter, Polly Vizard and Melanie Walker. Furthermore, organisers of the workshops within the Thematic group on Children Capabilities of the Human Development and Capability Association are thankfully acknowledged.

We have benefited of comments and suggestions by the participants of two relevant conferences on these issues where we both were invited as keynote speakers: the International Conference on “Human Development and Human Rights: Two decades of advancement, What’s next for Children and youth? Agency and participation for enhancing equity”, organised jointly by UNICEF and UNDP at Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 27–29th October 2011 and the Scientific Meeting on “Children rights and children capability approach: standpoints and prospects” at IUKB – Institut Universitaire Kurt Bösch, Sion, Switzerland 5–6th July 2012.

References

  1. Alexander, J. M. (2004). Capabilities, human rights and moral pluralism. The International Journal of Human Rights, 8(3), 451–469.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ballet, J., Biggeri, M., & Comim, F. (2011). Children’s agency and the capability approach: A conceptual framework. In M. Biggeri, J. Ballet, & F. Comim (Eds.), Children and the capability approach (pp. 22–45). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  3. Baraldi, C. (2009). Dialogue in intercultural communities. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bellanca, N., Biggeri, M., & Marchetta F. (2011). An extension of the capability approach: Towards a theory of dis-capability. ALTER. European Journal of Disability Research.Google Scholar
  5. Biggeri, M. (2004). Capability approach and child well-being. In Studi e Discussioni, 141, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Florence.Google Scholar
  6. Biggeri, M. (2007). Children’s valued capabilities. In M. Walker & E. Unterhalter (Eds.), Amartya Sen’s capability approach and social justice in education, Chapter 10 (pp. 197–214). New York: Palgrave.Google Scholar
  7. Biggeri, M., & Ferrannini, A. (2014). Capability approach as a framework for development initiatives: A procedure for practical planning. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, 15(1), 60–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Biggeri, M., & Mehrotra, S. (2011). Child poverty as capability deprivation: How to choose domains of child well-being and poverty. In M. Biggeri, J. Ballet, & F. Comim (Eds.), Children and the capability approach. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Biggeri, M., & Santi, M. (2012). Missing dimensions of children’s well-being and well-becoming in education systems: Capabilities and philosophy for children. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, 13(3), 373–395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Biggeri, M., Libanora, R., Mariani, S., & Menchini, L. (2006). Children conceptualizing their capabilities: Results of the survey during the first children’s world congress on child labour. Journal of Human Development, 7(1), 59–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Biggeri, M., Ballet, J., & Comim, F. (Eds.). (2011a). Children and the capability approach. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  12. Biggeri, M., Ballet, J., & Comim, F. (2011b). Final remarks and conclusions: The promotion of children’s active participation. In M. Biggeri, J. Ballet, & F. Comim (Eds.), Children and the capability approach. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bonvin, J. M., & Galster, D. (2010). Making them employable or capable; social integration policy at the crossroads. In H. U. Otto & H. Ziegler (Eds.), Education, welfare and the capabilities approach (pp. 71–84). Opladen: Barbara Budrich Publishers.Google Scholar
  14. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1998). The ecology of developmental processes. In U. Bronfenbrenner, P. Morris, W. Damon, & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology. Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
  15. Burchardt, T., & Vizard, P. (2011). ‘Operationalizing’ the capability approach as a basis for equality and human rights monitoring in twenty-first-century Britain. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, 12(1), 91–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Comim, F., Quizilbash, M., & Alkire, S. (Eds.). (2008). The capability approach: Concepts, measures and applications. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Comim, F. (2011). Parenting style. In M. Biggeri, J. Ballet, & F. Comim (Eds.), Children and the capability approach. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  18. Deneulin, S., & Shahani, H. (Eds.). (2009). An introduction to the human development and capability approach: Freedom and agency. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  19. Detrick, S. (1999). A commentary on the United Nations convention on the rights of the child. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.Google Scholar
  20. Dixon, R., & Nussbaum, M. (2012). Children’s rights and a capabilities approach: The question of special priority. Public Law and Legal Theory Working Paper Series, Univ. Chicago.Google Scholar
  21. Feeny, T., & Boyden, J. (2004). Acting in adversity – Rethinking the causes, experiences and effects of child poverty in contemporary literature. Working Paper Series, WP 116. Oxford: QEH.Google Scholar
  22. Freeman, M. (1998). The sociology of childhood and children’s rights. The International Journal of Children’s Rights, 6(4), 433–444.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gasper, D. (2002). Is Sen’s capability approach an adequate basis for considering human developing? Review of Political Economy, 14(4), 435–461.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gasper, D. (2007). What is the capability approach? Its core, rationale, partners and dangers. The Journal of Socio-Economics, 36, 335–359.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Harris-Short, S. (2003). International human rights law: Imperialist, inept, and ineffective? Cultural relativism and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Human Rights Quarterly, 25(25).Google Scholar
  26. Hart, C. S. (2012). Aspirations, education and social justice: Applying Sen and Bourdieu. London: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  27. James, A., Jenks, A., & Prout, A. (1998). Theorizing childhood. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  28. Jonsson, U. (2003). Human rights approach to development programming. New York: UNICEF.Google Scholar
  29. Karkara, R. (2003, February). Children’s participation and oppression. Presentation in Save the Children meeting on corporal punishment, CairoGoogle Scholar
  30. Karkara, R. (2011). Essential reader on strengthening meaningful and ethical participation of children and youth – Social coherence and human rights. Istanbul: International Training Program.Google Scholar
  31. Lansdown, G. (2001). Promoting children’s participation in democratic decision-making. Innocenti Insight. Florence: UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre.Google Scholar
  32. Lansdown, G. (2005). The evolving capacities of the child. Innocenti Insight. Florence: Save the Children-UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre.Google Scholar
  33. Lewis, N. (1998). Human rights, law and democracy in an unfree world. In T. Evans (Ed.), Human rights fifty years on: A reappraisal (pp. 77–104). Manchester: Manchester University Press. Mehrotra (2002).Google Scholar
  34. Nussbaum, M. (1997). Capabilities and human rights. Fordham Law Review, 66(2).Google Scholar
  35. Nussbaum, M. (2000). Women and human development. Cambridge: CUP.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Nussbaum, M. (2003). Capabilities as fundamental entitlements: Sen and social justice. Feminist Economics, 9(2–3), 33–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Nussbaum, M. (2006). Education and democratic citizenship: Capabilities and quality education. Journal of Human Development, 7(3), 385–398.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Nussbaum, M. (2010). Not for profit. Why democracy needs the humanities. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Nussbaum, M. (2011). Creating capabilities: The human development approach. Harvard: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. O’Kane, C. (2003). Children and young people as citizens: Partner or social chance, learning from experience. Kathmandu: Save the Children.Google Scholar
  41. OHCHR. (2004). Human rights and poverty reduction. A conceptual framework. New York/Geneva: United Nations.Google Scholar
  42. Robeyns, I. (2003). Sen’s capability approach and gender inequality: Selecting relevant capabilities. Feminist Economics, 9(2–3), 61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Santos Pais, M. (1999). A human rights conceptual framework for UNICEF (Innocenti essays). Florence: ICDC/UNICEF.Google Scholar
  44. Sen, A. K. (1985). Well-being, agency and freedom: The Dewey lectures 1984. Journal of Philosophy, 82(4), 169–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Sen, A. K. (1992). Inequality re-examined. Oxford: Clarendon.Google Scholar
  46. Sen, A. K. (1999). Development as freedom. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  47. Sen, A. K. (2004). Elements of a theory of human rights. Philosophy and Public Affairs, 32(4), 315–356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Sen, A. K. (2005). Human rights and capabilities. Journal of Human Development, 6(2), 151–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Sen, A. K. (2006). What do we want from a theory of justice? The Journal of Philosophy, CIII(5), 215–238.Google Scholar
  50. Sen, A. K. (2007). Children and human rights. Indian Journal of Human Development, 1(2), 1–11.Google Scholar
  51. Sen, A. K. (2009a). The idea of justice. London: Allen Lane.Google Scholar
  52. Sen, A. K. (2009b). Capability: Reach and limits. In E. Chiappero-Martinetti (Ed.), Debating global society: Reach and limits of the capability approach (pp. 15–28). Milan: Fondazione Giacomo Feltrinelli.Google Scholar
  53. Stoecklin, D., & Bonvin, M. (2014). The capability approach and children rights. In C. Hart, M. Biggeri, & B. Babic (Eds.), Agency and participation in childhood and youth: International applications of the capability approach in schools and beyond. London: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  54. Trani, J.-F., Bakhshi, P., & Biggeri, M. (2011a). Re-thinking children’s disabilities through the capability lens: A framework for analysis and policy implications. In M. Biggeri, J. Ballet, & F. Comim (Eds.), Children and the capability approach (pp. 245–270). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  55. Trani, J.-F., Bakhshi, P., Bellanca, N., Biggeri, M., & Marchetta, F. (2011b). Disabilities through the capability approach lens: Implications for public policies. ALTER. European Journal of Disability Research, 5(3), 143–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Trani, J-F., Biggeri, M., & Mauro, V. (2013). Child poverty and its multidimensional character: An empirical investigation on children of Afghanistan. Social Indicators Review. Special Issue.Google Scholar
  57. UN (2002). A world fit for children. A/S-27/19/Rev.1. 12 July 2002, United Nations Children’s Fund, http://www.unicef.org/specialsession/documentation/documents/A-S27-19-Rev1E-annex.pdf
  58. UNCRC. (1989). UN convention on the right of the child. New York: United Nations.Google Scholar
  59. UNCRPD (2007). United Nations convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. http://www.un.org/disabilities/convention/conventionfull.shtml. Retrieved on 30 June 2014.
  60. UNDP. (2000). Human development report: Human rights and human development. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  61. UNICEF. (2000). Monitoring progress towards the goals of the world summit for children: End-decade multiple indicator survey manual. New York: United Nations Childrens Fund, Division of Evaluation, Policy Planning.Google Scholar
  62. UNICEF (2002). State of the world children 2003. New York: UNICEF.Google Scholar
  63. UNICEF. (2003). Voices of Youth. The Bimonthly Newsletter. www.unicef.org/voy/
  64. UNICEF (2005). State of the world children 2005. New York: UNICEF.Google Scholar
  65. Vizard, P., & Burchardt, T. (2007). Developing a capability list: Final recommendations of the equalities review steering group on measurement. Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, Mimeo.Google Scholar
  66. White, S. C. (2002). Being, becoming and relationship: Conceptual challenges of a child rights approach in development. Journal of International Development, 14(8), 1095–1104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics and ManagementUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly
  2. 2.Youth (Global), United Nations Human Settlements Programme, Youth and Livelihoods, Urban Economy BranchUN-HABITATNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations