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Childrenʼs Rights and Education

International Perspectives

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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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Introduction

What Are Children’s Rights?

Extract



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

When asked about human rights, children inevitably say “show, don’t tell” but they are very, very rarely asked. If we were to honestly and openly answer their questions, we would have to acknowledge that a great deal of change is needed to create space for human rights in education.

—Katarina Tomaševski (2006, p. 140)

We all have stories about what has shaped our engagement with issues of children’s lives and education rights. For Beth, doing research related to impacts of neoliberal policies, and volunteer work in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly with out-of-school children in Kenya, led to work on broader issues of children’s rights. For Laura, a legal scholar and education researcher in Northern Ireland, understanding and advocating for the rights of children in this and other post-conflict settings has been a strong theme in her work. Janette has worked with Palestinian children in the West Bank and Jerusalem on projects related to their understanding of geopolitical issues and a journal project led by youth. Natasha has worked with diverse communities in Canada and focused on children’s rights in Venezuela and Colombia; most recently, she has done research with young leaders of the Québec protests of the rapidly rising costs of education. Together, as colleagues and collaborators, we share a passion for social justice as it applies to children’s rights and, as editors of this volume, to children’s education rights. ← 1...

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