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Right by Children Walking the talk of childrens rights Nóirín Hayes School of Social Sciences and Law, Dublin Institute of Technology, Centre for Social.

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Presentation on theme: "Right by Children Walking the talk of childrens rights Nóirín Hayes School of Social Sciences and Law, Dublin Institute of Technology, Centre for Social."— Presentation transcript:

1 Right by Children Walking the talk of childrens rights Nóirín Hayes School of Social Sciences and Law, Dublin Institute of Technology, Centre for Social and Educational Research

2 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Four groups of childrens rights –Survival rights –Development rights –Protection rights –Participation rights

3 UNCRC – four general principles Article 2 – all rights guaranteed to all children without discrimination Article 3 – the best interests of the child must be a[!] primary consideration Article 6 – all children have a right to life, survival and development Article 12 – the childs view must be considered and taken into account in all matters affecting him/her

4 Realising childrens rights Article 4 of the UNCRC requires States Parties to undertake all appropriate legislative, administrative and other measures for the implementation of the rights recognised in this convention.

5 Our responsibilities Article 42 - States Parties undertake to make the principles and provisions of the Convention widely known, by appropriate and active means, to adults and children alike.

6 Approaches to rights Legal Moral – a blend A soft approach A radical approach – a balance The Convention as a charter for all children

7 Getting rights right There is - - a wider meaning to rights, a meaning beyond law in which rights discourse is about justice, ethical fit, consonance with the rules of law, what law is and what law should be, where law speaks and where it is silent. (McGillvray, 1994)

8 Reifying childhood She also notes that: the argument that children should have no rights, or only some rights, is incoherent…….. It reifies childhood and ignores the legal reality. It mis-states the symbology and nature of rights. It casts rights as the antithesis rather than the essence of relationship and responsibility - - but it is an appealing argument - - it gives the comfortable impression that we understand children and know how to treat them, making rights superfluous. (McGillvray, 1994)

9 Focus of a rights strategy Protection of children through protection of childrens rights. Focus of strategies tends to be on particular issues such as –threats to survival, –lack opportunities for quality education, proper health and social care; –victims of worst forms of child labour, sexual exploitation and abuse, diseases, armed conflict, various forms of violence

10 Focus of a rights strategy –being forced into early marriages –having to endure harmful traditional practices. –children belonging to vulnerable groups face particular risks and are exposed to discrimination, marginalization and exclusion. –Girl/boy children face specific risks and need particular attention.

11 A positive focus for realising childrens rights would: Build from the focus of child well-being Recognise children as fully fledge citizens Facilitate real[istic] participation Wise public investment in children and families ECCE and softer skills focus – importance to the hard edged economic attention to competitiveness, smart economy, knowledge society.

12 But - making children visible Must happen at a society level Requires a consensus on core values which see children as –A shared responsibility [now] –A social investment [in the long run] Macro-economic policies must –Favour measures benefiting children –Work towards redistribution over the family lifecycle between those with and without children –And between the different age groups [the young/elder]

13 Role of the media? FPlace childrens rights at the heart of media practice FKey Functions FTo monitor abuses – and progress FTo respect the integrity of the child FTo allow children to participate in the media FTo protect children against harmful influences through the media FTo use the media to raise awareness on rights issues and on rights-based policies & practices

14 The challenge for us all Make real the commitment to children exemplified by the almost universal ratification of the UNCRC Normalise attention to childrens rights Childrens rights are for all – dont marginalise in an effort to protect Protect children through protecting childrens rights Consider children in all areas of policy making Create systems which allow children grow and develop in the midst of their/our society, as fully fledged citizens Dont underestimate the difficulties

15 Thank You


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