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Young Children's Rights

Exploring Beliefs, Principles and Practice Second Edition
Regular price £29.99
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Published in association with Save the Children

Priscilla Alderson examines the often overlooked issue of the rights of young children, starting with the question of how the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child applies to the youngest children, from birth to eight years of age. The question of finding a balance between young children's rights to protection, to provision (resources and services) and to participation (expressing their views, being responsible) is discussed. The author suggests that, in the belief we are looking after their best interests, we have become overprotective of children and deny them the freedom to be expressive, creative and active, and that improving the way adults and children communicate is the best way of redressing that balance.

This second edition has been updated and expanded to include the relevance of UNCRC rights of premature babies, international examples such as the Chinese one-child policy, children's influence on regional policies, and the influence on young children's lives of policies such as Every Child Matters and those of the World Bank, IMF, OECD and UNICEF.

This readable, informative and thought-provoking book is a compelling invitation to rethink our attitudes to young children's rights in the light of new theories, research and practical evidence about children's daily lives. It will be of interest to anyone who works with young children.
  • Published: Mar 15 2008
  • Pages: 240
  • 232 x 156mm
  • ISBN: 9781843105992
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Press Reviews

  • The Teacher

    This book gives an accesssible introduction to the complex subject of children's rights, suitable for most practitioners working with young children. There are real life examples past and present, helping the reader gauge how attitudes towards children's rights have changed through time. The book looks at the issues arising in different cultures and the influence of gender on rights, and assesses how children can be given a voice in the decision-making process. All of these are hot topics in education and this book offers readers a sense of perspective that can enhance the teaching and learning offered to children in their own work environment.
  • Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law

    Alderson writes with clarity, sprinkling her text liberally with examples from published sources while drawing deeply from her well of personal experiences as mother, researcher and pradtitioner working with young children... Alderson's arguments are reasoned and her analysis spot on. She us forthright in her championing of children's rights: children must be informed, included and consulted - above all, adults must listen... the book is informative and genuinely enlightening. Priscilla Alderson has produced an inspiring analysis of the state of children's right in Britain.
  • ChildRight

    This book is a stimulating and thought-provoking read for anyone who works with (or is a parent of) young children.
  • Child Abuse Review

    There is much to be commended in Alderson's book. It is written with clarity and passion and adopts a child-centred perspective, and most of Alderson's points are well backed up with appropriate, illustrative, research and practice examples.
  • Infant and Child Development

    This book will prove invaluable to any who are involved in research or professional practice with children. It is also carefully and quietly making 'child-citizens' thinkable. A final commendation is that it takes the 'tough' cases of young children and babies as its primary focus and still makes a very reasonable and compelling case for their abilities to participate in decision-making.
  • International Journal of Early Years Education

    This is a highly accessible book that is a useful contribution to the debate about the children's rights and citizenship. It will provide a stimulating and thought-provoking read for anyone who works with (or is a parent of) young children and, despite the fact that she did not win over this reader entirely, Alderson has given fresh impetus to the need to continually rethink our attitude to children's rights.
  • Seen and Heard

    It is a joy to read such a book, which puts into words dearly held principles that are rarely clearly expressed. Alderson discusses the importance of treating young children as individuals and as holders of rights... Practitioners who work regularly with children will find this book helpful. It articulates the issues and the importance of treating all children with respect, as holders of views, which should be taken seriously. The creativity and good sense of children's solutions to problems affecting them are illustrated in a way that is helpful and illuminating. It contributes to the canon of work illustrating why consulting with children is so important in reaching good solutions for them.