Children's Rights and Power: Charging Up for a New Century

Children's Rights and Power: Charging Up for a New Century

Children's Rights and Power: Charging Up for a New Century

Children's Rights and Power: Charging Up for a New Century

Synopsis

Providing perspectives, insights and recommendations, this is a comprehensive overview of the current state of children's rights and education around the world. Written by experts in their fields, the book includes chapters on:

national accountability

how international standards can be implemented

the rights of children with special needs

respecting children's views in education

education and democracy

how the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child can be implemented.

This authoritative and thought-provoking volume will be essential reading for anyone involved in, or concerned about, the rights of children in education around the world.

Excerpt

This book has been in the process of being written, or rather lived, for over half a century. It started in the head of a child abandoned, bewildered, wounded, drugged, hallucinating and desperately solitary in a hospital bed. This child faced the same problems that have beset children in many places, at many times – problems of recognition of her needs, of establishing identity, agency, of managing relationships wisely and richly, of exercising power and of finding a voice that is heard, of being someone who counts, who has a future as a citizen and a participant in the world of which she was born a part. These are the challenges which, often against apparently impossible odds, are experienced in their most acute form in childhood but remain lifelong struggles.

This child was taught that a feature of good literary style is to expunge the ‘I’. in doing so, she realises that much of what it is important about agency, power and autonomy is precisely that it is uniquely personal. Moreover, feminist research and activities have underlined how important autobiography is in capturing, archiving and legitimating experience. Hence she must, having lived to tell the tale, write in her own voice as an ‘I’.

Like many, I have been seeking to voice my concerns for well over half a century – the self-same search which has, I believe, united this one-time child with the world’s children and energised my work. All children have rights, but first have to have some sense of personal powers to exercise those rights, yet almost everywhere they are rendered powerless. Their efforts are constantly routed into searches for love, for happiness, for recognition. the struggle has occasionally found a voice, and at times been so overwhelmed with non-recognition that it has been silenced.

In 1992, shortly after the ratification of the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child in the uk, I hosted in Exeter a ‘World Conference on Children’s Rights: a Question of Empowerment’, to look at the state of international progress in research and practice in . . .

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