Donate today!
Your support will help build a better future.
Your Donation at WorkDonate Now

Children’s rights. Where the law is heading and what it means for families

Children’s rights have become an important topic of public policy and one of particular interest to the Centre for Independent Studies through its Taking Children Seriously program. In this monograph, Barry Maley, the program’s director, takes a close look at children’s rights and the way they are being approached in Australia, and international law. Maley suggests that children, as the most naturally vulnerable members of society, are in a different position from the rest of us when it comes to the nature of their rights. Because of their dependence on adults, ‘positive’ rights — rights to protection, sustenance and guidance — have an importance for children that rivals that of ‘negative’ or ‘autonomy’ rights. In Maley’s view, autonomy rights for children can be dangerous, because they they might undermine the harmonious functioning of the family unit, on which children depend to have their positive rights met.