Child Indicators Research

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 161–183 | Cite as

Does the Realisation of Children’s Rights Determine Good Life in 8-Year-Olds’ Perspectives? A Comparison of Eight European Countries

  • Dagmar KutsarEmail author
  • Kadri Soo
  • Tomasz Strózik
  • Dorota Strózik
  • Brindusa Grigoraș
  • Sergiu Bălțătescu


The UN Convention of the Rights of the Child forms a normative basis for the understanding and measurement of child well-being. Nevertheless, there is still the question of how far the rights are reflected in the everyday lives of children. This study is aimed at constructing a bottom-up approach to study reflections of rights in children’s perceptions of a good life. It tries to demonstrate the relationships between the indicators of subjective well-being in the rights framework (such as feeling safe, being heard and cared for and treated fairly) and the subjective perception of good life measured among eight-year old children. Three sources of well-being – family, school and friends are put in focus. The empirical basis of the paper comes from the second wave of the Children’s Worlds study. Its sub-sample of over 8000 eight-year old children from eight European countries is used. Sub-indices of rights reflections in four rights domains (protection, provision, participation and non-discrimination) and a general index of a rights reflection in children’s well-being assessments are constructed as an operational model for data analysis. The analysis revealed that provision (being cared for) and protection (feeling safe) are the leading determinants of a good life in children’s perspectives, while participation (being heard and listened to) and non-discrimination (being treated fairly) are the most diverse determinants of a good life across countries.


Children Children’s rights Subjective indicators Well-being 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Social StudiesUniversity of TartuTartuEstonia
  2. 2.Department of Business ActivityPoznań University of Economics and BusinessPoznańPoland
  3. 3.Department of Statistics and DemographyPoznań University of Economics and BusinessPoznańPoland
  4. 4.Babeş Bolyai” University Cluj-NapocaCluj NapocaRomania
  5. 5.Department of Sociology and Social WorkUniversity of OradeaOradeaRomania

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