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Childrenʼs Rights and Education

International Perspectives

Series:

Beth Blue Swadener, Laura Lundy, Janette Habashi and Natasha Blanchet-Cohen

This book compares ways in which children’s rights in, to, and through education, formal and informal, are viewed and implemented in a variety of social and political contexts, aiming to shed light on how policies and practices can improve equal access to high quality education in an environment which is respectful of children’s rights. Chapters focus on understanding the opportunities for and challenges of addressing children’s rights to participation and to inclusion. Authors draw from a variety of disciplines, including critical and cultural studies of childhood, and bring internationally comparative policy perspectives to share nuanced and contrasting examples of ways in which a rights-based approach to education might empower children and youth. The book deepens and complicates research on children’s education rights, and will contribute to courses in comparative education, childhood studies, education policy, and children’s rights.

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Section One: Complexities and Perspectives in Promoting Participation and Inclusion

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Complexities and Perspectives in Promoting Participation and Inclusion S e c t i o n o n e SwadenerEtal.indd 17 06/08/13 8:05 AM SwadenerEtal.indd 18 06/08/13 8:05 AM Education Rights in a Society Emerging from Conflict Curriculum and Student Participation as a Pathway to the Realization of Rights c H A P t e R o n e Lesley Emerson & Laura Lundy In societies emerging from conflict, the rhetorical and aspirational aspects of transition to peace are often framed in the context of the next generation, with children’s rights portrayed as central to the rebirth of the society (Lundy, 2006) . The focus of peace-building initiatives at times of transition is both retrospec- tive and prospective: remedying past injustices and creating the conditions for a more stable future . Children are likely to have been disproportionately affected by the conflict (Connolly & Healy, 2004; Machel, 1996), and children’s rights instruments provide a set of benchmarks for determining what is necessary to redress the social, psychological, and physical impacts of violence upon children . In terms of future planning, children’s rights are thought to form the building blocks for a human rights culture and are therefore recognized increasingly as core aspects of political settlements in transitional societies (see, e .g ., Sacramento & Pessoa, 1996) . More pragmatically, children’s rights are often perceived as politi- cally neutral territory, making it easier to garner political and popular support for initiatives that benefit children than it is in other, more contentious spheres of engagement . Thus, not only are...

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