Children’s rights at 21: policy, theory, practice&mbash;Introductory remarks

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Hägglund, Solveig ; Thelander, Nina (2011)
  • Publisher: Education Inquiry
  • Journal: Education Inquiry (issn: 2000-4508, eissn: 2000-4508)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/edui.v2i3.21988

When the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in November 1989, this was the final step in a long process which started around the first world war. Three Declarations on rights for children, dated 1924, 1948 and 1959 were forerunners. The early one was adopted by the League of Nations, the other two by the United Nations. The main concern in these early documents was an emphasis on protection and on children’s rights to social welfare, i.e., the child’s needs dominated the image (Thelander, 2009). The appearance of these documents at the international stage was linked with humanistic rhetoric and charity movements, particularly visible and outspoken in Europe. They directed attention towards children’s vulnerable position in war times and towards the bad provision of health and social service for children in general. Individual contributors referred to as particularly significant for this “children’s movement” history, are Ellen Key, Eglantyne Jebb and Janusz Korczak, all active in the first half of the 20th century (ibid.). Even though the Convention on the Rights of the Children only recently passed its 21st birthday, the story of children’s rights thus has been around for almost a century, a period of time during which major shifts in the ways children and childhoods are viewed took place.(Published: 1 September 2011)Citation: Education Inquiry Vol. 2, No. 3, September 2011, pp.365–372
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