Posted: 26 Aug 2009
Date Written: August 25, 2009
This paper contrasts the constitutional jurisprudence of the United States regarding positive or welfare rights with their broader acceptance in other peer nations and in international law. It focuses particularly on resistance within the U.S. to ratification of the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which has been ratified by every other nation except Somalia. The author concludes that shared human vulnerability, which is present throughout life but especially salient in childhood, is the essential reality that undergirds the concept of needs-based rights and is a more useful starting point for thinking about rights than the notion of autonomy or individualism.
Keywords: children’s rights, UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), treaty ratification, constitutional law, positive rights, negative rights, comparative law, human rights, vulnerability, solidarity, child welfare, status of children
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Woodhouse, Barbara Bennett, Needs, Rights, and the Human Family: Human Vulnerability and the Concept of Needs-Based Rights (August 25, 2009). Emory Public Law Research Paper No. 9-64. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1461459