Young children’s rights: exploring beliefs, principles and practice

Young children’s rights: exploring beliefs, principles and practice


Priscilla Alderson

Jessica Kingsley ISBN 9781843105992

There has been a lot of progress, since I was a young teacher and novice parent in the early 1970s, contemplating children’s rights and the use and abuse of adult power. There were few books covering the topic back then, let alone one providing such scholarly analysis and practical guidance to parents, professionals or others interested in children as equal human beings.

Young People’s Rights provides a broad overview of the three key aspects of rights from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child – provision, protection and participation – and directs readers to the wider literature. It centres on England, but has a wider relevance, drawing on examples from other societies to illustrate its points. Despite advances in thinking and research on the topic, it shows the gap between the aims of the UNCRC and the treatment of children in the UK.

This book explores participation in greater depth, providing challenges to us all. It covers theories of participation and practical examples of involving children from birth to eight years old at several levels from consultation to responsibility sharing, and includes counters to the standard arguments for not involving them.

The author sees children as citizens who are “not simply learning and practising, but living and accomplishing”. A better route to social inclusion, I think, than hoodie bans and antisocial behaviour orders.

Roy Grimwood, former children’s social care worker, now studying for an MA in human rights, globalisation and justice

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