Does the Realisation of Children’s Rights Determine Good Life in 8-Year-Olds’ Perspectives? A Comparison of Eight European Countries
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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.
KeywordsChildren Children’s rights Subjective indicators Well-being
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