What does 'equality' mean for children in relation to adults? Addressing Inequalities: The Heart of the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the Future We Want for All. Global Thematic Consultation

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Title: What does 'equality' mean for children in relation to adults? Addressing Inequalities: The Heart of the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the Future We Want for All. Global Thematic Consultation
Authors: Shier, Harry
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/12059
Date: Oct-2012
Online since: 2021-03-23T11:07:51Z
Abstract: This paper asks how the idea of ’equality’ between children and adults can be made a reality in the post 2015 development agenda. ‘Non-discrimination’ is a fundamental principle of children’s rights discourse, but is invariably thought of in terms of equality among children, not as equality between children and adults, while discrimination by adults against children is an accepted social norm. Also there is no equivalence in the responsibilities placed on children and adults. Adults are required to protect and care for children; children are in most societies expected to respect and honour adults, which makes for unequal power relationships. The view of children as incapable continues to be used to deny them equal rights, though the concept of ‘the evolving capacities of the child’ offers a more pragmatic solution. Considering these issues, how can the concept of ‘equality’ be meaningfully applied to relationships between children and adults? One response is found in the ‘children’s liberation’ literature, which calls for organised resistance to children’s oppression. However the issues are resistant to such an approach, and child liberation offers only a partial solution. An alternative approach is to recognise and tackle ‘adultism’, here defined as, “the belief that the adult human being is intrinsically superior to or of greater worth than the child, and the child, by default, inferior or of lesser worth”. Challenging adultism enables us to reconceptualise the underlying equality in child-adult relations, which includes equality as rights-holders, equality as ends rather than means and equality of human dignity.
Type of material: Technical Report
Publisher: CESESMA
Keywords: EqualityChildrenDiscriminationCapacityAdultism
Other versions: https://www.unicef.org/media/media_67926.html
Language: en
Status of Item: Not peer reviewed
This item is made available under a Creative Commons License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ie/
Appears in Collections:Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems Research Collection

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