Advancing Our Approach to Global Justice for Children

  • Gottfried Schweiger
  • Gunter Graf
Open Access


So far, we have outlined a concept of social justice for children in welfare states and criticized child poverty within them as unjust. We have argued that different agents are responsible for securing justice for these children and that the respective extent of their responsibility can be determined, at least approximately, using different criteria relating to the capacities of these actors and their role in the causation of child poverty, as well as their relation to the child and her living condition. The state and its institutions — education system, health care, social protection services and so on — are obviously the most important agents in this respect: as they possess metaresponsibility, they should enforce, if necessary, the responsibility of other agents. We have already discussed the international and global level briefly, acknowledging that it is of importance. We have argued, however, that we view the state and its institutions as the primary agent in the case of child poverty in modern welfare states — they are still strong enough and have plenty of opportunities to shape their own institutions and societies. Still, child poverty in welfare states is more likely to be alleviated and eradicated if the international and global structures within which these states have to act and by which their opportunities and institutions are influenced also change. Nevertheless, welfare states can do much about child poverty even under the present unjust global structure.

Copyright information

© Gottfried Schweiger and Gunter Graf 2015

Open Access This Chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gottfried Schweiger
    • 1
  • Gunter Graf
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Paris Lodron University of SalzburgAustria
  2. 2.International Research Centre for Social and Ethical QuestionsSalzburgAustria

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