With Rachel Conrad

John Wall has written that “children’s rights are arguably the major human rights challenge of the twenty-first century.” In this course, we will critically explore approaches, controversies, ambiguities, and promise related to theory and practice concerning the rights of people under the age of 18. We will review the emergence across the twentieth century of international human rights approaches to children’s rights, culminating in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and examine why the United States remains the only country that has not ratified the UN Convention. We will examine global examples of contemporary structures and practices that support young people’s active, participatory roles in advocating for children’s rights, such as children’s parliaments and youth committees. A central component of the course will be students’ project-based research on particular topics related to children’s rights. This course is limited to first year students.

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