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date: 02 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Despite the development of the children’s rights movement, human rights scholarship continues to overlook the rights of children. Even those like Ronald Dworkin, who proclaim the need to take rights seriously, are curiously silent, even ambivalent, when it comes to children. This inattention often forces advocates of children’s rights to the margins of human rights scholarship. In the few places where serious philosophical discussion of children’s rights does take place, the analysis intends to diminish the value of rights for children. These critics are not malevolent, and typically want what is best for children, but they do not think it can be accomplished through a children’s rights agenda. This chapter lays out a persuasive argument for a children’s rights agenda, or, for taking children’s rights seriously. Drawing from philosophy, history, literature, popular media, and of course the law, this chapter argues against the conventional deficit view underlying most arguments against the recognition of children’s rights and makes a case for the importance of children’s rights where rights are the currency in use.

Keywords: children’s rights, international children’s rights, best interests, welfare, paternalism, CRC, Convention on the Rights of the Child, autonomy, culture

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