Handbook of Children's Rights : Global and Multidisciplinary Perspectives book cover
1st Edition

Handbook of Children's Rights
Global and Multidisciplinary Perspectives

ISBN 9781315766300
Published December 8, 2016 by Routledge
640 Pages

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Book Description

While the notion of young people as individuals worthy or capable of having rights is of relatively recent origin, over the past several decades there has been a substantial increase in both social and political commitment to children’s rights as well as a tendency to grant young people some of the rights that were typically accorded only to adults. In addition, there has been a noticeable shift in orientation from a focus on children’s protection and provision to an emphasis on children’s participation and self-determination.

With contributions from a wide range of international scholars, the Handbook of Children’s Rights brings together research, theory, and practice from diverse perspectives on children’s rights. This volume constitutes a comprehensive treatment of critical perspectives concerning children’s rights in their various forms. Its contributions address some of the major scholarly tensions and policy debates comprising the current discourse on children’s rights, including the best interests of the child, evolving capacities of the child, states’ rights versus children’s rights, rights of children versus parental or family rights, children as citizens, children’s rights versus children’s responsibilities, and balancing protection and participation. In addition to its multidisciplinary focus, the handbook includes perspectives from social science domains in which children’s rights scholarship has evolved largely independently due to distinct and seemingly competing assumptions and disciplinary approaches (e.g., childhood studies, developmental psychology, sociology of childhood, anthropology, and political science). The handbook also brings together diverse methodological approaches to the study of children’s rights, including both quantitative and qualitative perspectives, and policy analysis.

This comprehensive, cosmopolitan, and timely volume serves as an important reference for both scholarly and policy-driven interest in the voices and perspectives of children and youth.

Table of Contents

About the Editors


Preface Martin D. Ruck, Michele Peterson-Badali, and Michael Freeman

Part I. Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Children’s Rights and the CRC

1. History of Children’s Rights

Peter N. Stearns

2 Children’s Rights and Women’s Rights: Interrelated and Interdependent

Jonathan Todres

3. Children’s Rights: A framework to Eliminate Social Exclusion? Critical Discussions and Tensions 

Didier Reynaert and Rudi Roose

4. Fixed Concepts but Changing Conceptions: Understanding the Relationship Between Children and Parents under the CRC

John Tobin

5. Children's Rights and Well-Being

Asher Ben-Arieh and Noam Tarshish

6. The Convention on the Rights of the Child after Twenty-five Years: Challenges of Content and Implementation

Ursula Kilkelly

Part II. Social Science and Theoretical Perspectives on Children’s Rights

7. Anthropological Perspectives on Children’s Rights

Heather Montgomery

8. Sociological Approaches to Children’s Rights

Virginia Morrow and Kirrily Pells

9. The Psychology of Children’s Rights

Charles C. Helwig and Elliot Turiel

10. Philosophical Perspectives on Children’s Rights

Rosalind Ekman Ladd

11. Realising Children’s Economic and Social Rights: Towards Rights-Based Global Action Strategies

Michael Nyongesa Wabwile

12. The Evolving Capacities of the Child: Neurodevelopment and Children’s Rights

Daniel P. Keating

Part III. Children‘s Rights in Legal, Educational, Health Care and Other Settings

13. Health and Children’s Rights

Priscilla Alderson

14. The Right to Be Who You Are: Competing Tensions among Protection, Survival, and Participation Related to Youth Sexuality and Gender

Stacey S. Horn, Christina Peter, and Stephen T. Russell

15. Progress toward Worldwide Recognition of the Child’s Human Right to Dignity, Physical Integrity and Protection from Harm

Bernadette J. Saunders

16. The Continuing Abuse and Neglect of Children

Neerosh Mudaly and Chris Goddard

17. What Stands in the Way of Children’s Exercise of their Criminal Procedural Rights in the United States? Our Evolving and Incomplete Interdisciplinary Understanding

Emily Buss

18. Implementing Children’s Education Rights in Schools

Katherine Covell, R. Brian Howe, and Anne McGillivray

19. Children’s Right to Play: From the Margins to the Middle

Stuart Lester

20. Children with Psychiatric Disabilities: Bioethical and Genomic Dilemmas

Maya Sabatello

Part IV. Global Perspectives on Children’s Rights

21. Children and Adolescents in Street Settings: Rights and Realities

Marcela Raffaelli and Sílvia H. Koller

22. Children’s Education Rights: Global Perspectives

Laura Lundy, Karen Orr, and Harry Shier

23. Governance and Children’s Rights in Africa and Latin America: National and Transnational Constraints

Richard Maclure

24. Independent Children’s Rights Institutions

Linda C. Reif

25. Children’s Rights and Digital Technologies: Introduction to the Discourse and Some Meta-observations

Urs Gasser and Sandra Cortesi

26. Working Children as Subjects of Rights: Explaining Children’s Right to Work

Manfred Liebel, Philip Meade, and Iven Saadi

27. Protection from Sexual Exploitation in the Convention on the Rights of the Child

Elizabeth M. Saewyc

28. Child Soldiers: The Challenges and Opportunities in Addressing the Rights of Children Affected by War

Myriam Denov and Andi Buccitelli

Part V. Children’s Rights in Action

29. Children’s Right to Write: Young People’s Participation as Producers of Children’s Literature

Rachel Conrad

30. Children’s Free Association and the Collective Exercise of Their Rights

Bijan Kimiagar and Roger Hart

31. Child Participation in Local Governance

Meda Couzens

32. Children’s Rights to Child-Friendly Cities

Louise Chawla and Willem van Vliet

33 Visual Methods in Participatory Rights-Based Research with Children and Young People in Indonesia and Vanuatu

Harriot Beazley

34. Child Rights and Practitioner Wrongs: Lessons from Interagency Research in Sierra Leone and Kenya

Michael Wessells and Katherine Kostelny

35. Children’s Voices about Children’s Rights: Thoughts from Developmental Psychology

Martin D. Ruck, Michele Peterson-Badali, Isabelle M. Elisha, and Harriet R. Tenenbaum



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Martin D. Ruck is Professor of Psychology and Urban Education at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Michele Peterson-Badali is Professor of Psychology in the Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development at the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE).

Michael Freeman is Professor Emeritus at the University College London Laws and Honorary Research Professor at the Liverpool Law School of the University of Liverpool.


'A quarter of a century after the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child, this universally endorsed treaty languishes in public policy and professional practice. By giving access to this historic manifesto, the Handbook of Children’s Rights shines light on the last frontier of the human rights movement.' – Felton Earls, Professor Emeritus, Harvard Medical School, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

'Achieving the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires systematic investment in children across two decades of life. This rich volume invites us to put children and adolescents at the center, rather than our academic disciplines, and demonstrates the richness of a cross-sectoral approach to fulfilling child and adolescent rights.' – Judith Diers, Ph.D., Chief, Adolescent Development and Participation, UNICEF

'Human rights are under threat as rarely before in the modern era. This illuminating and wide-ranging volume providing new perspectives on the role, interpretation, and application of children’s rights could not be more opportune.  As a powerful and passionate case for upholding the commitments made to the world’s children, it should be compulsory reading for every head of state.' – Gerison Lansdown, Founder Director of the Children’s Rights Alliance for England, Chair of Child to Child