Does Exactly what it says on the Tin? A Critical Analysis and Alternative Conceptualisation of the so-called “General Principles” of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

Karl Hanson, Laura Lundy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


The four general principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child are one of its most cited features. This article tracks the evolution of the “general principles” in the drafting process of the Convention and the Committee’s determination of the content of its 1991 reporting guidelines. This is followed by an analysis of the approach to the “general principles” that the Committee has adopted in its monitoring and reporting processes and General Comments. It concludes that these four articles are not necessarily “general” nor “principles” and suggests how the concept of a set of cros-cutting standards might evolve and perhaps be reformulated in ways that are faithful to both the text of the Convention and subsequent understanding and practice
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-306
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Children's Rights
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 08 Aug 2017



  • Children's Rights - General Principles

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