The Plight of Children and Youth: A Human Rights Study

Bernard John Schissel


The arguments herein focus on a new way of understanding the plight of the child in the global world and of fostering ways that make better the world of children by drawing on a foundational assumption that children have wisdom and knowledge that needs to be heard and used.  The human rights framework that I present is based on the notion of the collective right to be heard, the right to make a difference.   I argue that the idea of a western-based human rights program as the standard upon which children’s rights should be seen is flawed, not only in  theory but in practice.  I devote a portion of the paper showing how flawed such a rights paradigm is, especially for some children and youth in Canada. Public criminology, in its modern incarnation, has much to offer as we grapple with the goal of securing safety and justice for all youth.


youth justice, crime and youth, public criminology

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