This article argues that investigators doing developmental and social research with children have, for the most part, failed to acknowledge the inherent implications of their work for children'srights. The impact of these studies upon children'srights occurs at every stage; from hypothesis formulation to hypothesis testing to dissemination of findings. This paper addresses the issue in the context of developmental research on children's ability to report experienced events accurately. This particular research area has generated (...) data that has been extrapolated to legal contexts and created a foundation for assumptions about the credibility of child witnesses. This in turn has had profound effects on children's right to be heard and the weight given to their testimony. The argument is made that there is a need for social scientists to explicitly articulate how their work may impact upon children'srights and what is in fact the social agenda in this regard underlying their research. (shrink)
Justice for children meets specific obstacles when it comes to its realization due not only to the nature of rights and the peculiarities of children as subjects of rights. The conflict of interests between short-term and long-term aims, and the different interpretations a state can do on the question concerning how to materialize social rights policies and how to interpret its commitments on social justice play also a role. Starting by the question on why the affluent states (...) do not seem to be motivated enough to fully assume those duties of justice toward children —derived form recognizing children’s rights—, this article aims to explore and shed light on what psychology of motivation and moral psychology, and positive approaches could offer in relation to political and ethical challenges toward childhood. Hence this article advocates for the modification and enrichment of the philosophical discourse on children’s rights with what psychology has proved to have a more efficient impact in agents’ action and motivation. In doing so, practical philosophy could improve its role helping understand and eventually surpassing some akratic tendencies in the public sphere with respect to children’s rights. (shrink)
Several charters of rights have been issued in Europe to solemnly proclaim the rights of children during their hospital stay. However, notwithstanding such general declarations, the actual implementation of hospitalized children’s rights is unclear. The purpose of this study was to understand to which extent such rights, as established by the two main existing charters of rights, are actually implemented and respected in Italian pediatric hospitals and the pediatric units of Italian general hospitals, as perceived (...) by the nurses working in them. (shrink)
This paper argues that liberal tenats that justify intervention to promote the welfare of an incompetent do not suffice as a basis for analyzing parent-child relationships, and that this inadequacy is the basis for many of the problems that arise when thinking about the state's role in resolving family conflicts, particularly when monitoring parental discretion in medical decision-making on behalf of a child. The state may be limited by the best interest criterion when dealing with children, but parents are not. (...) The state's relation with the child is formal while the parental relation is intimate, having its own goals and purposes. While the liberal canons insist on the incompetent one's best interest, parents are permitted to compromise the child's interests for ends related to these familial goals and purposes. Parents decisions should be supervened, in general, only if it can be shown that no responsible mode of thinking warrants such treatment of a child. Keywords: proxy medical consent, children'srights, state's protection of children, parental authority and the state's intervention, paternalism, liberalism, parental values CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
By blurring the distinction between formal school and education writ large, homeschooling both highlights and complicates the tensions among the interests of parents, children, and the state. In this essay, Robert Kunzman argues for a modest version of children's educational rights, at least in a legal sense that the state has the duty and authority to enforce. At the same time, however, it is important to retain a principled distinction between schooling and education—not only to protect children's (...) basic educational rights, but also to prevent the state from overreaching into the private realm of the home and family. (shrink)
Abstract. In this paper, which was among Don Browning's last writings before he died, we review and evaluate the main arguments against the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (the “CRC”) that conservative American Christians in particular have opposed. While we take their objections seriously, we think that, on balance, the CRC is worthy of ratification, especially if it is read in light of the profamily ethic that informs the CRC and many earlier human rights (...) instruments. More fundamentally, we think that the CRC captures some of the very best traditional Western legal and theological teachings on marriage, family, and children, which we retrieve and reconstruct for our day. (shrink)
Children are often denied rights on the basis of their incompetence. A theory of rights for children is essential for consideration of the child's political status, yet the debate surrounding children'srights has been characterised by the divisive concept of ‘capacity’ typified in the two leading rights theory, Interest Theory and Will Theory. This article will provide a thorough analysis of the relationship between capacity, competence and rights. Although Interest Theory has successfully dealt with (...) the competence requirement for being a right-holder, the competence requirement still holds for the type of rights a child holds. Children's interests are determined sufficiently strong to found a right when the claim-holder has the competence to realise the benefit to which that interest pertains. This allows us to recognise children as right-holders while constraining the types of rights they hold according to their developing competencies. (shrink)
The often‐posed dichotomy between the interest and choice theory of rights can obfuscate a proper understanding of children'srights. We need a gradualist model in which the grounds for attributing rights to a being change in response to the development of autonomy. Rights for children initially function to protect their interests but, as they develop into full‐fledged autonomous choosers, rights function to ensure that their choices, even those that do not serve their welfare, are (...) respected. (shrink)
Somerville, Margaret Over the millennia of human history, the idea that children - at least those born into a marriage - had rights with respect to their biological parents was taken for granted and reflected in law and public policy. But with same-sex marriage, which gives same-sex spouses the right to found a family, that is no longer the case. Likewise, children'srights with respect to their biological origins were not an issue when there was no technoscience (...) that could be used to manipulate or change those origins: a baby could only be conceived in vivo through sexual reproduction. But with assisted human reproductive technologies and genetic technologies, that, too, is no longer the case. So, in light of these new realities, what are our obligations, as societies, to children with respect to their biological origins and biological families? What protections do children need and deserve? I propose that the most fundamental human right of all is a child's right to be born from natural human biological origins and that children also have human rights with respect to knowing who their biological parents and families are, and that these rights must be recognized. Children also have a right to be reared within their biological families and to have a mother and a father, unless an exception can be justified as being in the 'best interests' of a particular child. The connection among adoption, the use of new reproductive technologies, and same-sex marriage is that they all unlink child-parent biological bonds. Each context raises one or more of three important issues: children's right to know the identities of their biological parents; children's right to both a mother and a father, preferably their own biological parents; and children's right to come into being with genetic origins that have not been tampered with; that is, 'designing' our children should be prohibited. Such 'designing' would result in losses with implications far beyond those persons directly affected and far beyond the present time. It would undermine the rights to equality and freedom of future generations. Because the liberty and equality of all citizens is at the heart of democratic societal institutions and of the values that democratic societies promote, to create people who are neither free nor equal undermines those institutions and values. In short, not to prohibit 'designer children' would undermine the very foundations of our Western democratic societies. (shrink)
Children are young human beings. Some children are very young human beings. As human beings children evidently have a certain moral status. There are things that should not be done to them for the simple reason that they are human. At the same time children are different from adult human beings and it seems reasonable to think that there are things children may not do that adults are permitted to do. In the majority of jurisdictions, for instance, children are not (...) allowed to vote, to marry, to buy alcohol, to have sex, or to engage in paid employment. What makes children a special case for philosophical consideration is this combination of their humanity and their youth, or, more exactly, what is thought to be associated with their youth. One very obvious way in which the question of what children are entitled to do or to be or to have is raised is by asking, Do children have rights? If so, do they have all the rights that adults have and do they have rights that adults do not have? If they do not have rights how do we ensure that they are treated in the morally right way? Most jurisdictions accord children legal rights. Most countries—though not the United States of America—have ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which was first adopted in 1989. The Convention accords to children a wide range of rights including, most centrally, the right to have their ‘best interests’ be ‘a primary consideration’ in all actions concerning them, the ‘inherent right to life’, and the right of a child “who is capable of forming his or her own views … to express these views freely in all matters affecting the child”. However it is normal to distinguish between ‘positive’ rights, those that are recognised in law, and ‘moral’ rights, those that are recognised by some moral. (shrink)
Worldwide, many impoverished parents migrate, leaving their children behind. As a result children are deprived of continuity in care and, sometimes, suffer from other forms of emotional and developmental harms. I explain why coercive responses to care drain are illegitimate and likely to be inefficient. Poor parents have a moral right to migrate without their children and restricting their migration would violate the human right to freedom of movement and create a new form of gender injustice. I propose and defend (...) an institutional solution. Taxes levied on the remittances sent by temporary migrants ought to be used to provide migrants' children with psychological counselling in order to mitigate the harm resulted from discontinuity in care. (shrink)
: Events surrounding the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States raise compelling moral questions about the effects of war and globalization on children in many parts of the world. This paper adopts Sartre's notion of freedom, particularly its connection with materiality and intersubjectivity, to assess the moral responsibility that we have as a global community toward our most vulnerable members. We conclude by examining important first steps that should be taken to address the plight of children.
Events surrounding the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States raise compelling moral questions about the effects of war and globalization on children in many parts of the world. This paper adopts Sartre's notion of freedom, particularly its connection with materiality and intersubjectivity, to assess the moral responsibility that we have as a global community toward our most vulnerable members. We conclude by examining important first steps that should be taken to address the plight of children.
Federal guidelines require that informed consent be obtained from participants when they are enrolled in a research study. When conducting research with children, the guidelines utilize the term permission to describe parents' agreement to enroll their children in a study. The basic components of consent and permission are well described and identical, with the exception of the person for whom the decision to participate is being made (i.e., oneself as opposed to one's child). Beyond permission, when enrolling minor participants in (...) research, affirmative agreement to participate in research or assent must be obtained from the child participants themselves. The concept of children's assent to research, however, is poorly defined, resulting in inconsistency in its pursuit and, consequently, in its utility. The interface between cognitive development, emotional, and social development must be examined as it pertains to this special situation of decision making. For this process to meaningfully protect minors, the assent process must be clarified, decisions regarding parental veto power must be more convincingly justified, and researchers must be better educated and held accountable for the valid execution of this process. Strategies for implementing the assent process more effectively are presented. (shrink)
Liberals who want to support multiculturalism need to be able to justify the parental authority to instill cultural value systems or worldviews into children. However, such authority may be at odds with liberal demands that citizens be autonomous. This paper argues that parents do not have the legitimate authority to instill in their children a specific value system, contrary to the complex and intriguing arguments of Robert Noggle . Noggle’s argument, which draws heavily on key ideas in Rawls’ theory of (...) justice, is that children are not moral agents and that parents are in a special kind of fiduciary relationship vis-à-vis their children. Noggle’s position is contrasted with the more limited conception of parental authority advanced by David Archard . I argue that we can accept that parents are agents of their children, but contra Noggle, this does not entitle them to impose their parochial value systems onto their children. I argue that while children have an interest in acquiring values, they do not have an interest in acquiring a value system. (shrink)
This paper explores the current practice dilemmas and common ideologies that characterize inter-country adoption in Ireland and explores these issues through a child rights lens. The social and historical development and construction of adoption are examined in order to outline the broad parameters within which inter-country adoption occurs in Ireland. The role of social workers in this complex and specialized area of work is examined and some of the questions posed by adoption professionals are highlighted. A real consideration for (...) the best interests of children is put into perspective and the role of the social worker as a child rights advocate is given recognition. (shrink)
Children's vulnerability gives rise to duties of justice towards children and determines when authority over them is legitimately exercised. I argue for two claims. First, children's general vulnerability to objectionable dependency on their caregivers entails that they have a right not to be subject to monopolies of care, and therefore determines the structure of legitimate authority over them. Second, children's vulnerability to the loss of some special goods of childhood determines the content of legitimate authority over them. (...) My interest is in the so-far little-discussed goods of engaging in world discovery, artistic creation, philosophical pursuits and experimentation with one's self. I call these ‘special goods of childhood’ because individuals, in general, only have full access to them during childhood and they make a distinctive and weighty contribution to wellbeing. Therefore, they are part of the metric of justice towards children. The overall conclusion is that we ought to make good institutional care part of every child's upbringing. (shrink)
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Teachers White and Thompson allowed students to explore the primary-source readings from several philosophers in a 5th grade course called Apogee. The essay is written with a focus on Patience and other virtues.