For about two decades, studies on children’s rights have been developed as a particular branch of research. Like social childhood studies and human rights studies, which have a longer history, it is considered a scientific field with specific interests and cognitive issues. Some similarities can be identified in the discussion, but the question also arises how the profile of these studies can be refined, expanded and, in some points, reconceptualized. This chapter raises some of these questions and offers considerations about future prospects for children’s rights studies. After summarizing the previous discussion regarding the aims of these studies, their legal understanding and policy implications are analysed and the question is raised to what extent the concept of ‘living rights’ can serve as a guideline for research. The chapter then turns to the question of the Eurocentric bias of children’s rights discourse and practice, and the need for its decolonization. The tense relationship between universalism and cultural relativism in the understanding and treatment of these rights is then looked into. Finally, the question whether children’s rights studies should be seen more as a form of ‘enlightenment’ or as a contribution to ‘political intervention’ is addressed.
Children in the Global South continue to be affected by social disadvantage in our unequal post-colonial world order. With a focus on working-class children in Latin America, this book explores the challenges of promoting children’s rights in a decolonizing context.
Liebel and colleagues give insights into the political lives of children and demonstrate ways in which the concept of children’s rights can be made meaningful at the grassroots level. Looking to the future, they consider how collaborative research with children can counteract their marginalization and oppression in society.
14 Sep 2023
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