The emergence of the child as a subject of rights has been influenced by developmental, social, political, and legal theories. In this context, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) has contributed in a major way towards a better understanding of childhood and children's rights through its definition of the child as "every human being below the age of 18 years, unless under the law applicable to the child majority is attained earlier" (art. 1). Childhood and children's rights, however, go beyond a matter of age and involve issues of development, capacity, protection and autonomy, as the CRC itself indeed recognises in its general principles. Being able to recognise the numerous features of childhood and what they entail in terms of respect, protection and fulfilment of rights is the first step towards more effective interventions in any activity with and for children.
Being able to recognise the numerous features of childhood and what they entail in terms of respect, protection and fulfilment of rights is the first step towards more effective interventions in any activity with and for children. This e-learning course introduces participants to the foundations of children's rights in three areas:
• conceptual framework for the development of rights for children;
• international legal standards and mechanisms;
• definition of the child and general principles.
Participants will deepen their knowledge about the origins of children's rights and the rationale behind them, with particular attention to issues of universal and local application. The course will also focus on development, capacity, protection and autonomy as an overall integrated framework rather than distinct elements. Through a combination of theoretical and practical analysis, the course will equip participants with the basic knowledge and tools necessary to gain a critical understanding of children's rights.
This certificate course involves approximately 30 hours of reading, discussion, webinars, a writing assignment and quizzes, and is offered over a six-week period. The course is based on a participatory, active learning approach, with an emphasis on critical reflection and peer-to-peer learning. Participants will do the required readings, prepare interim and final assignments and participate in group discussions. Case studies will be used to enable interactive learning and activities.
Week 1: Why children's rights?
Week 2: Definition of the child in international and regional legal standards
Week 3: The CRC general principles
Week 4: Protecting children's rights
Week 5: Recognising children's evolving capacities
Week 6: The "right'' balance between protection and autonomy?