Does the Realisation of Children’s Rights Determine Good Life in 8-Year-Olds’ Perspectives? A Comparison of Eight European Countries
- 138 Downloads
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
- Alderson, P. (2000). Young children's rights: exploring beliefs, principles and practice. London: Jessica Kingsley.Google Scholar
- Andrews, A., Ben-Arieh, A., Carlson, M., Damon, W., Dweck, C., Earls, F., Garcia-Coll, C., Gold, R., Halfton, N., Hart, R., Lerner, R. M., McEwen, B., Meaney, M., Offord, D., Patrick, D., Peck, M., Trickett, B., Weisner, T., & Zuckerman, B. (2002). Ecology of child well-being: advancing the science and the science-practice link. Georgia: Centre for Child Well-Being.Google Scholar
- Ariès, P. (1962). Centuries of childhood. NY: Vintage.Google Scholar
- Ben-Arieh, A. (2012). How do we measure and monitor the “state of our children”? Revisiting the topic in honor of Sheila B. Kamerman. Children and Youth Services Review, 34, 569–575. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2011.10.008 8159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Ben-Arieh, A., Casas, F., Frønes, I., & Korbin, J. E. (2014). Multifaceted concept of child well-being. In A. Ben-Arieh, F. Casas, I. Frønes, & J. E. Korbin (Eds.), Handbook of child well-being (pp. 1–27). Springer.Google Scholar
- Bradshaw, J., Hoelscher, P., & Richardson, D. (2006). Comparing child well-being in OECD countries: concepts and methods. Florence: UNICEF.Google Scholar
- Casas, F. (2004). Quality of life and the life experience of children. In E. Verhellen & A. Weyts (Eds.), Understanding children’s rights (pp. 79–94). Ghent University: Children’s Rights Centre.Google Scholar
- Casas, F., & Bello, A. (Coord.), (2012). Calidad de vida y bienestar subjetivo en España. Qué afecta al bienestar de niños y niñas españoles de 1° de ESO? [Quality of life and subjective well-being in Spain: What influences on Spanish children’s well-being at 1st year of Compulsory Secondary Education?] Girona: Documenta Universitaria, UNICEF, España.Google Scholar
- Casas, F., Bello, A., Gonzalez, M., & Aligue, M. (2013). Children’s subjective well-being measured using a composite index: What impacts Spanish first-year secondary education students’ subjective well-being? Child Indicators Research, 6(3), 433–460.Google Scholar
- Chawla, L. (2001). Evaluating children’s participation: seeking areas of consensus. PLA Notes, 42, 9–13. London: IIED.Google Scholar
- EAPN. (2013). Towards children’s well-being in Europe. Explainer on child poverty in the EU. Eurochild, EAPN: Brussels.Google Scholar
- Edwards, C., Gandini, L., & Foreman, G. (Eds.). (1998). The hundred language of children: The Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education (2nd ed.). New Jersey: Ablex Publishing Corporation.Google Scholar
- Fattore, T., Mason, J., & Watson, E. (2017). Children’s understandings of well-being. Towards a child standpoint. Springer.Google Scholar
- Field, A. (2005). Discovering statistics using SPSS (2nd ed.). London: Sage Publication.Google Scholar
- Grigoraş, B., Alfaro, J., Sarriera, J. C., Bedin, L., Sirlopu, D., Casas, F., & Bălţătescu, S. (2015). Participarea adolescenţilor şi bunăstarea lor subiectivă: O comparaţie între Brazilia, Chile, Spania şi România [Adolescent’s participation and their subjective well-being: a comparison between Brazil, Chile, Spain and Romania]. Sociologie Românească, 13(1), 5–28.Google Scholar
- HBSC – Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children. World Health Organization collaborative cross-national survey. Available from http://www.hbsc.org/. Accessed 2 May 2017.
- Hogan, D. (2005). Researching ‘the child’ in developmental psychology. In S. Greene & D. Hogan (Eds.), Researching children’s experiences: approaches and methods (pp. 22–42). London: Sage.Google Scholar
- Kosher, H., & Ben-Arieh, A. (2016). What children think about their rights and their well-being: A cross-national comparison. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/ort0000222.
- Lansdown, G. (2005). The evolving capacities of the child. In Innocenti Insight, Florence: UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre.Google Scholar
- Liebel, M. (2014). Adultism and age-based discrimination against children. In D. Kutsar & H. Warming (Eds.), Children and non-discrimination. Interdisciplinary textbook (pp. 119–143). CREAN. Tartu: University Press of Estonia.Google Scholar
- OECD. (2009). Doing better for children. Available from http://www.oecd.org/els/family/doingbetterforchildren.htm. Accessed 15 May 2017.
- Rees, G., & Main, G. (Eds.) (2015). Children’s views on their lives and well-being in 15 countries: An initial report on the Children’s Worlds Survey, 2013–14. York, UK: Children’s Worlds Project (ISCWeB). Available from http://www.isciweb.org/_Uploads/dbsAttachedFiles/10and12FullReport.pdf. Accessed 4 March 2017.
- Rees, G., Goswami, H., Pople, L., Bradshaw, J., Keung, A., & Main, G. (2012). The good childhood report. England: The Children’s Society and University of York.Google Scholar
- Rees, G., Andresen, S., & Bradshaw, J. (Eds.) (2016). Children’s views on their lives and well-being in 16 countries: A report on the Children’s Worlds survey of children aged eight years old, 2013–15. York, UK: Children’s Worlds Project (ISCWeB). Available from http://www.isciweb.org/_Uploads/dbsAttachedFiles/8yearsoldreport.pdf. Accessed 2 April 2017.
- Reynaert, D., & Roose, R. (2015). Children’s rights from a social work perspective. Towards a lifeworld orientation. In W. Vandenhole, E. Desmet, D. Reynaert, & S. Lembrechts (Eds.), Routledge international handbook of children’s rights studies (pp. 94–111). Routledge International Handbooks. Routledge.Google Scholar
- Reynaert, D., Desmet, E., Lembrechts, S., & Vandenhole, W. (2015). Inroduction. A critical approach to children’s rights. In W. Vandenhole, E. Desmet, D. Reynaert, & S. Lembrechts (Eds.), Routledge international handbook of children’s rights studies (pp. 1–23). Routledge International Handbooks. Routledge.Google Scholar
- Soffer, M., & Ben-Arieh, A. (2014). School-aged children as sources of information about their lives. In G. Melton, A. Ben-Arieh, J. Cashmore, G. Goodman, & N. Worley (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of child research (pp. 555–575). London: SAGE Publications. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781446294758.n28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- The Children’s Society. (2014). The good childhood report. London: The Children’s Society.Google Scholar
- United Nations (n.d.). CyberSchoolBus: understanding discrimination. Available from http://cyberschoolbus.un.org/discrim/id_8_ud_print.asp. [crossref. from Liebel, 2014].
- Vandenhole, W. (2012). Localizing the human rights of children. In M. Liebel, K. Hanson, I. Saadi, & W. Vandenhole (Eds.), Children’s rights from below: cross-cultural perspectives (pp. 80–93). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
- Verhellen, E. (2006). Convention on the Rights of the Child. Background, motivation, strategies, main themes. Antwerpen: Garant.Google Scholar
- Verhellen, E. (2015). The Convention of the Rights of the Child. Reflections from a historical, social policy and educational perspective. In W. Vandenhole, E. Desmet, D. Reynaert, & S. Lembrechts (Eds.), Routledge international handbook of children’s rights studies (pp. 43–59). Routledge International Handbooks. Routledge.Google Scholar
- Zambrano, V., Padilla, D., & Moscoso, S. (1997). Child participation: a formative right. In A. Ben-Arieh & H. Wintersberger (Eds.), Monitoring and measuring the state of children: beyond survival, (pp.159–166). Eurosocial Report no. 62, Vienna: European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research.Google Scholar