Week 2: What is a Child/Childhood?

When I typed in the URL for the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, I was surprised that, in fact, these rights were laid out in an easy-to-read, brightly colored and illustrated PDF that was tailor-made for any kid who knew how to read. Upon reading these rights, the child-friendly format made perfect sense to me; since every child has rights, as illustrated by this document, it is of the upmost importance that they know about these articles in order to “make choices and exercise [them].” And how else can they do that but in an accessible format and language? The fact that this document can easily be read by children is, in of itself, upholding their right to “know [their] rights”(Article 42) and “to get information that is important to [their] well-being” (Article 17).

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Since these rights, and how they are presented, should be obvious after any initial surprise, the reading of CRC 25th Anniversary was more shocking. First, that it’s only been approximately 28 years since a foundation was laid “for children’s rights around the globe,” but most shocking of all, that the United States of America has not ratified the CRC.

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3 thoughts on “Week 2: What is a Child/Childhood?

  1. youthreadingmedia says:

    We will further discuss this on class, but it is very relevant for libraries because, as you mention, article 17 talks about information and the legal commentaries for that article actually mention libraries and librarians, and their role in supporting children’s access to information.

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  2. Hello Alexandra!

    Honestly, I am not surprised that the United States has not ratified the CRC. If it took 20 years for the United States to agree to ratify the Paris climate change agreement, I can only imagine how stubborn or fearful this country is to follow an international law that would benefit of the lives of American children. Who knows? Perhaps, we will learn more about it in class.

    I agree that the child-friendly, and adorably designed, PDF format is excellent in demonstrating children on their absolute rights and choices. It is great to see countries around the globe being dedicated in ensuring a child’s health and development with laws and policies to uphold children’s rights. My only concern is for either children who might be incapable of reading or accessing a computer to find this document. I expect that the CRC is mandating that a child should have a primary education, but what are your thoughts on the fact that 41% of State Parties are providing constitutional protection of rights to a secondary education (World Policy Analysis Center, 2014)?

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    Reference

    World Policy Analysis Center. (2014). Constitutional rights fact sheet [PDF]. Retrived from http://www.worldpolicycenter.org/sites/default/files/WORLD_Fact_Sheet_Childrens_Constitutional_Rights_2014.pdf

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  3. Sandy says:

    So true. I hadn’t know about the UN’s Rights of Child but it’s a testament to their dedication and understanding that they created this list and made it accessible for children. I need to print this up and display it somewhere at work!

    *sigh* Oh, U.S. We still have a long way to go on a LOT of issues but investing in our youth should be on the top of our list.

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