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A Conversation About Children's Rights

by Ellen Hall and Alison Maher - Response by Pam Boulton
May/June 2012
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/a-conversation-about-childrens-rights/5020524/

Quoting the Campaign for US Ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) website: “The CRC recognizes all children’s rights to develop physically, mentally, and socially to their fullest potential, to express their opinions freely, and to ­participate in decisions affecting their future.” Further, “The CRC provides a vision of children as individuals and as members of a family and community, with rights and responsibilities appropriate to their age and stage of development” (childrightscampaign.org). To the authors of this article, as well as many others, this recognition and vision should be a reality for all children. However, we realize that not all people believe that children should be afforded rights as specified in the CRC.

Do Children Have Rights?

Some adults believe that children do not have inherent rights, but rather must earn specific rights as rewards for appropriate behavior; rights, once afforded, can also be taken away. This makes us question: “Should adults have to earn the right to be parents?” “What other rights currently afforded to adults merely based on age should be earned, with the caveat that they can also be taken away?”

Some adults worry that affording children rights as individuals and as members ...

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