Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory

2017 Edition
| Editors: Michael A. Peters

Children’s Rights

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-287-588-4_263



During the course of the twentieth century, children have come to be recognized globally as human beings with rights, which, when realized, provide them with a better quality of life, opportunities for healthy development, and the fulfillment of their potential. Rights are legally or morally justified entitlements to have or to obtain something, or to act in a certain way. Children are defined here as people between birth and 18 years of age. The recognition that children have rights has had a transformative influence on how children are thought about and treated, not only by policy and lawmakers, but by professionals and other people who interact on an everyday basis with children. Respecting rights means that rights-holders are accorded dignity, while denial of rights threatens humanity and integrity. Rights arguments provide a reasoned and moral basis for reforms to practices and policies for children.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Otago College of EducationDunedinNew Zealand