Legal rights of the child: the United States and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child RUTH LAWRENCE-KARSKI Doctoral Candidate, School of Social Welfare, University of California at Berkeley, USA Introduction There is an intricate web of social legislation which specifies the legal rights of children in the United States. The fragmented array of legislation has arisen from incremental policy making over the last two centuries. At no time has there been a unified policy approach to children's rights. Although children do not have the same legal rights as adults, it is not clear what their legal rights are. Much US law for adults is phrased in terms of protection of the rights of the individual. There is not, however, a similar body of law for children. Children are not specified as a group in the Constitution, nor is there a Bill of Rights for Children. Even though there is no normative framework outlining children's rights in the US, there have, nonetheless, been vast gains for children during the twen- tieth century. Children are enjoying the general benefits of twentieth century social legislation in areas of health, education, employment, and welfare. Legislation in these areas
The International Journal of Children's Rights – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1996
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