Child Rights and International Discrimination Law: Implementing Article 2 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Child Rights and International Discrimination Law

Implementing Article 2 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1st Edition

Edited by Marit Skivenes, Karl Harald Søvig


214 pages

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pub: 2019-02-26
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Societies and states are at a crossroad in how children are treated and how their rights are respected and protected. Children´s new position and their strong rights create tensions and challenge the traditional relationships between family and the state. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted unanimously by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1989 and came into force in 1990. Article 2 places states under an obligation to accord primacy to the best interests of the child in all actions concerning children and to ensure and regulate child protection.

This book offers a comparative and critical analysis of the implementation of Article 2 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. In order to examine how Article 2 is being implemented, it is essential to have a sound understanding of the obligations it emposes. The opening chapters will explore the precise content of these obligations in terms of the legislative history of the text, its underlying philosophy, its amplification by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, and subsequent authoritative interpretations of it by courts around the world. The book will then drill down into the conceptual and theoretical challenges posed by the very nature of the obligations and will offer in-depth exploration of the long-running ‘rights v welfare’ debate that has always presented something of a challenge in giving effect to children’s rights. Contributors are leading academics in the children’s rights field drawn from a wide range of countries and jurisdictions worldwide, including those with common law, civilian and mixed traditions. Disciplines represented in the book include law, psychology, political science, childhood studies, social work and anthropology.

By drawing together the various facets of Article 2 and analysing it from a range of perspectives, the volume provides a coherent and comprehensive inter-disciplinary analysis on discrimination and the rights of the child.

Table of Contents


Notes on Contributors

Chapter 1

Discriminating Against Children.

Katre Luhamaa, Marit Skivenes & Karl Harald Søvig

Chapter 2

Article 2 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: Non-Discrimination and Children’s Rights.

Elaine E. Sutherland

Chapter 3

Respecting Age: Discrimination against the Young and the Old.

David Archard

Chapter 4

The Ageing of Article 2(1): The Child’s Right to be Free from Age-Based Discrimination.

Claire Breen

Chapter 5

Illegitimate Consequences of ‘Illegitimacy’?: Article 2 UNCRC and Non-Marital Children in the British Isles.

Brian Sloan

Chapter 6

The non-discrimination principle in child protection: a snapshot on a seemingly trivial practice of transitions in care.

Tarja Pösö

Chapter 7

That time of the month: discrimination against girl children who cannot afford sanitary health care.

Lize Mills & Comine Howe

Chapter 8

Collateral Damage: Discrimination in Failure-to-Protect Laws for Children’s Wellbeing.

D. Kelly Weisberg

Chapter 9

Citizen Children and Unauthorized Immigrant Parents: Can Best Interest Analysis Relive Discrimination Based on Status.

Linda Elrod

Chapter 10

Hidden discriminatory practices in access to education for children with disabilities – a challenge for children’s rights.

Trynie Boezaart

Chapter 11

Starting from the System Building - Child Protection in China.

Liu Huawen

Chapter 12

The importance of Article 2 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child for refugee children.

Sonia Human

Chapter 13

Birth and Status: the Ongoing Discrimination against Children in Scots law based on Parentage.

Gillian Black


About the Editors

Marit Skivenes is aProfessor at the Department for Administration and Organization Theory at the University of Bergenandthe director of Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism, University of Bergen, Norway.

Karl Harald Søvig is a Professor of law and the Dean at the Faculty of Law at the University of Bergen, Norway.

About the Series

Routledge Research in International Law

The series offers a space for new and emerging scholars of international law to publish original arguments, as well as presenting alternative perspectives from more established names in international legal research.  Works cover both the theory and practice of international law, presenting innovative analyses of the nature and state of international law itself as well as more specific studies within particular disciplines. The series will explore topics such as the changes to the international legal order, the processes of law-making and law-enforcement, as well as the range of actors in public international law. The books will take a variety of different methodological approaches to the subject including interdisciplinary, critical legal studies, feminist, and Third World approaches, as well as the sociology of international law. Looking at the past, present and future of international law the series reflects the current vitality and diversity of international legal scholarship.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / Family Law / Children
LAW / Discrimination