The moral and political status of children

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1 September 2015

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The children rights are human rights given to children with specific attention to the rights of special care and protection to minors. Children have the rights to associate with both parents, basic needs such as food, human identity healthcare, education and criminal laws. The interpretation of the rights of children ranges from permitting the children the autonomous capacity action to enforcement of children being mentally, physically and emotionally free from abuse. Most states defines a child as a human being below the age of eighteen, unless under the law that is applicable to the child. The question of whether the legally accorded rights should be afforded to children, and what extent and nature of the anticipated rights should be, has elicited vigorous debates among sociologists and law experts. The movement of the children’s rights can be attributed to the inclined concerns in the society over the individual rights and the recognition of a child abuse as a challenge to the society.

Thesis Statement: Children should not be given equal rights to adults

The idea of children being afforded legally recognized rights is a revolutionary subject in numerous approaches. Historically, the children were taken care of by their parents. However, since they are presumed by the law to lack the capacity of adults, they are denied extended participation in legal, social and political processes. According to Smyth (2013, p. 47) children are afforded special protection by a majority of the states. However, today most scholars consider the control to be oppressive and harmful to children. The immense volume of the scholarship literature referencing the multiple approaches of affording the expression to the notion that children should have rights, the content of the rights and the actual formulation f the rights. There is no yet a coherent theory of the rights of children that is hardly surprising (Couzens 2007, p. 91). The demand for enforcement and recognition of the rights of children attracts the attention of various societal believes. One hurdle in the development of coherent theory of the rights of children is the fact that in defining the children’s rights, it is significant to consider the children status as being a member of a family group and as an individual.Glendon argues that rights are good and essential; however, they have dominated the public discourse in unhealthy ways. Referring to Fernando (2001, p. 221) children rights are by nature individualistic and frequently unable to deal with the non-individualistic struggles in the society. Glendon further writes that children rights are legalistic and spurious law talks they contain have corrupt debates from the public. Likewise, the rights based on the claims of powerlessness to slow the dislocation and destruction of the formerly thriving communities by both urban renewal and de-industrialization destroy the society. The libertarianism provides that rights have drawn a distinction between adults and children. They assert that the children’s rights are rational, a creation of divine and persuasion of interests. According to the theory, moral rationality is the ability of an individual to reason about justifications and actions (Archard & Macleod 2002, p. 173). Thus, the beings that can reason about moral matters should be accorded moral worth. Therefore, being given rights means being of moral reason. Consequently, the conception of rationality avoids the paternalistic counter that a person is not acting rationally to be forced to do so. So, by virtue of the lack of capacity that adults have, children should not be accorded similar rights to adults. Likewise, the functionalism asserts that every part of the society should contribute to the societal stability. According t the functionalism there is an order that exists in the society that brings social stability. Therefore, the children lack the capacity to stabilize the society. In similar assertions, the Marxist theory underscores that the property within the state belongs to the individuals who created the wealth. Therefore, only people who work should benefit in the labour equally (Smyth 2013, p. 175). Therefore, by virtue of the inability of children to take the unrightfully profits and possessions as a claim of rights would not benefit them.


The correct policy of children’s rights lies somewhere between the extremes of minimum intervention and maximum coercive. Therefore, to determine the limits state intervention, the correct policy that lies in the correct application of the child’s standard of interest is significant. In a nutshell, there must be a safety net and no non-interventionist can be absolute. The children must be protected from dangers, but they should not have equal rights in the society.


Archard, D., & Macleod, C. M. (2002). The moral and political status of children. Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Couzens, M. (2007). Autonomy Rights versus Parental Autonomy. UN Children’s Rights Convention : Theory Meets Practice : Proceedings of the International Interdisciplinary Conference on Children’s Rights, 18-19 May 2006, Ghent, Belgium. 419-439.Fernando, J. L. (2001). Children’s rights. Thousand Oaks, CA, Sage Publications.Smyth, C. (2013). Is the right of the child to liberty safeguarded in the Common European Asylum System?. European Journal of Migration and Law, 15, 2.)

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"The moral and political status of children" StudyScroll, 1-Sep-2015. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 9-Jun-2023]

StudyScroll. (2015). The moral and political status of children. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 9-Jun-2023]

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