Human Rights and Adolescence

Human Rights and Adolescence

Human Rights and Adolescence

Human Rights and Adolescence

Synopsis

While young children's rights have received considerable attention and have accordingly advanced over the past two decades, the rights of adolescents have been neglected. This manifests itself in pervasive gender-based violence, widespread youth disaffection and unemployment, concerning levels of self-abuse, violence and antisocial engagement, and serious mental and physical health deficits. The cost of inaction on these issues is likely to be dramatic in terms of human suffering, lost social and economic opportunities, and threats to global peace and security. Across the range of disciplines that make up contemporary human rights, from law and social advocacy to global health, history, economics, sociology, politics, and psychology, it is time, the contributors of this volume contend, for adolescent rights to occupy a coherent place of their own.

Human Rights and Adolescence presents a multifaceted inquiry into the global circumstances of adolescents, focusing on the human rights challenges and socioeconomic obstacles young adults face. Contributors use new research to advance feasible solutions and timely recommendations for a wide range of issues spanning all continents, from relevant international legal norms to neuropsychological adolescent brain development, gender discrimination in Indian education to Colombian child soldier recruitment, stigmatization of Roma youth in Europe to economic disempowerment of Middle Eastern and South African adolescents. Taken together, the research emphasizes the importance of dedicated attention to adolescence as a distinctive and critical phase of development between childhood and adulthood and outlines the task of building on the potential of adolescents while providing support for the challenges they experience.

Contributors : Theresa S. Betancourt, Jacqueline Bhabha, Krishna Bose, Neera Burra, Malcolm Bush, Jocelyn DeJong, Elizabeth Gibbons, Katrina Hann, Mary Kawar, Orla Kelly, David Mark, Margareta Matache, Clea McNeely, Glaudine Mtshali, Katie Naeve, Elizabeth A. Newnham, Victor Pineda, Irene Rizzini, Elena Rozzi, Christian Salazar Volkmann, Shantha Sinha, Laurence Steinberg, Kerry Thompson, Jean Zermatten, Moses Zombo.

Excerpt

Jacqueline Bhabha

This book presses the claim for special attention to adolescence and to the urgency of developing an adolescent rights agenda. Human Rights and Adolescence argues that the time has come to utilize knowledge strides made over the past half century and apply principles honed in other fields to advance policy and practice for adolescents. It claims that the cost of inaction on these issues is likely to be dramatic in terms of human suffering, lost social and economic opportunities, and threats to global peace and security. Further, the book argues that a rights-based approach to adolescence is necessary to achieve what has so far eluded policy makers and practitioners—real progress on protecting and enabling the realization of adolescent potential across the globe. Across the range of disciplines that make up contemporary human rights, from law and social advocacy, to global health, to history, economics, sociology, politics, and psychology, it is time for adolescent rights to occupy a coherent place of their own.

Definitions have constituted an important element in human rights work. Building an interventionist agenda with global reach requires deft footwork to overcome the divisive potential of political, cultural, religious, and social difference. To establish a common framework for action, a common language has to be agreed upon. At present, no such consensus about adolescence exists. But as several chapters in this book note, the framework for such a common language exists and much is to be gained from its formal adoption. the international community defines adolescence as the period between ten and nineteen, the second decade of life. a concerted decision . . .

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