Demonstrating Positive Obligations: Children's Rights and Peaceful Protest in International Law
40 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2013 Last revised: 13 Nov 2013
Date Written: April 1, 2013
Recently there has been a significant increase in the involvement of children and young people in protests across the globe. As a result of this increase, children have directly influenced political change but have also faced threats to their safety. This raises distinct children’s rights issues, and the trends identified necessitate both conceptualizing protest involvement from a children’s rights perspective, and critically examining the manner in which the law — at both a national and international level — has approached the involvement of children in such activities. This Article examines the positive obligations of States and argues that children should be recognized as a distinct, valid, and sometimes vulnerable group that has the right to protest and the right to be facilitated in doing so.
Keywords: children's rights, autonomy rights, right to freedom of association, right to freedom of assembly, Arab Spring, Castle case, UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, civil and political rights
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