Children, citizenship and human rights

Roche, Jeremy (2005). Children, citizenship and human rights. Journal of Social Sciences, Special Is(9) pp. 43–55.



The language of rights and human rights has wide currency and finds institutional expression in among other things the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) which in theory at least guarantees the our human rights. I argue that the ECHR’s seeming inclusiveness is problematic and that while the text of the ECHR is inclusive of children and their interests the interpretation of the ECHR by the courts reveals a number of assumptions regarding children and adult-child relations which operate to undermine a broader conception of children’s human rights. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) however has given rise to new political possibilities providing a resource whereby the necessary re-imagining of adult-child relations, which is at the heart of the children and citizenship debate, can take place.

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