Reconceptualising the Child's Right to Development: Children and the Capability Approach
International Journal of Children's Rights 12 (2013)
20 Pages Posted: 14 Sep 2017
Date Written: September 6, 2013
The article proposes adopting the Capability Approach as a theoretical framework to analyse the child’s right to development. Currently, the child’s right to development is realised as the child’s right to become an adult. This interpretation is problematic on several grounds, primarily its usage of developmental psychology as an underlying narrative to conceptualise childhood and interpret children’s rights, and its lack of respect for children’s agency. Using the Capability Approach’s conception of ‘human development’ as an alternative framework can change the way in which childhood and children’s development are conceptualised and, consequently, change the interpretation of the child’s right to development. It can accommodate simultaneously care for the child’s future and the child’s life at the present; promote respect for a child’s agency and active participation in her own growth; and lay the foundations for developing concrete measures of implementation.
Keywords: children’s rights; right to development; capability approach; childhood studies; UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
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