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Workshop aim

About three decades after the introduction of the UNCRC the language of children´s rights have become a universal framework within which moral, legal and political issues about children are discussed. The articles from the UNCRC have to a certain extent gained hegemonic status in policy making and influence a wide range of political and social practices as well as knowledge production on children and childhood. Policy, practice and research on children’s rights has been founded on a strong belief in the legitimacy of children’s right as a political and moral project and that such a project is viable and could offer an essential contribution to human and societal development in a modern secular world. Simultaneously, however, one can note a great uncertainty regarding what constitutes children’s rights and how they translate from international conventions to different contexts and to the lived experiences of children. It is today almost impossible to talk about children and political change in international politics without using language of children´s rights. As such they constitute a starting point for political agendas that affect the lives of children in many countries. In other countries children’s rights have less influence on everyday policy and practice or are conceptually discussed in other terms.

The overall aim for the planned conference is to bring together scholars of children’s rights from various disciplines to critically engage with the tensions and controversies of children’s rights regimes.  We would like to engage in a dialogue about the current focus on implementation, the normative foundations of the current right discourse, the historical origins and transformation/relations between different rights concepts and the relationship between rights and alternative concepts. In addition, what will such inquiries implicate for current political challenges and child related policies?  We hope that this conference will start to set a new agenda in the academic and public discussion.  

The planned conference will specifically address four areas of concern.

  1. The historical and conceptual origins of children’s rights
  2. The normative foundations of children’s rights
  3. Contemporary transformations of children’s rights
  4. Children´s rights and current political challenges

These areas of concern are overlapping and dependent and we hope for a discussion that will bridge the borders between disciplines and academic traditions. 

The conference is an outcome of a workshop that took place in Linköping 2014 (financed by Forte) titled The Troublesome Children’s Rights. The joint conclusion of this workshop was that further critical scrutiny of the historical and conceptual bases was in dire need to deepen the current knowledge and add to the quality of the current debates over children’s rights. 


The conference is generously financed by the The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences (www.rj.se) and The Department of Thematic Studies - Child Studies, Linköping University



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Last updated: Wed May 18 12:10:50 CEST 2016