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This short video series calls into question conventional wisdom about childhood - and about child rights. Videos 2-5 are each accompanied by a reading list.
1. 'Childhood, Law, and Rights - an Introduction'
This introductory video provides an overview of the next four videos.
2. 'Is Childhood a Legal Invention?'
This video examines to what extent differences between children and adults are natural and universal. Is it possible that childhood is largely a social and legal invention?
Accompanying reading materials: Reading materials - Video 2 [PDF 223KB]
3. 'The Problem with Child Protection'
This video discusses the principle of child protection. As shown in the video, this principle has often worked to the detriment of children and adults alike, especially those from disempowered communities.
Accompanying reading materials: Reading materials - Video 3 [PDF 229KB]
4. 'The Child's Right to Be Heard - Does It Serve Youngsters' Interests?'
This video explores a legal principle known as 'the child's right to be heard.' As the video explains, what this right actually does is enable adults to ignore, misrepresent, and operate against the views of young people.
Accompanying reading materials: Reading materials - Video 4 [PDF 230KB]
5. 'Should Child Work Be Banned?'
This video focuses on child work - a topic that illustrates all the issues discussed in the previous videos. Child protection laws, it is argued, have often harmed working children and ignored their wishes.
Accompanying reading materials: Reading materials - Video 5 [PDF 234KB]
Geographies of Children, Youth & Families Research Group, 'Publications on racialised minority children, youth, and families', Royal Geographical Society, 2022
Children's History Society, 'Reading list: Books on the history of children, youth, and education', 2022
Hedi Viterbo, 'International Child Law', Queen Mary, 2021 [PDF 330KB]
John Wall, 'Children's Rights', Rutgers, 2021 [PDF 92KB]
Films on political, social, and legal issues concerning children [PDF 391KB]
Elizabeth Dillenburg, 'Exploring Empire through the Lens of Childhood and Gender', World History Commons, 2022
Open University in collaboration with the MS Training Centre for Development Co-operation and Child Rights Education for Professionals, 'Child Rights Education in East Africa', 2017 (shared under Creative Commons license)
Hedi Viterbo, The Limitations of Brain Development Studies' - from the course 'International Child Law', Queen Mary, 2021 [PDF 87KB]