The moral and political status of children

David Archard*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Just recently, philosphers and political theorists have addressed the topic of childhood, specifically on the status of childhood. Varying views on the status of childhood emerged and while some are conceptual or metaphysical, others are normative. Generally, these views point to the significance of children's rights which are either protection or participation. The former right views children as passively and vulnerable to the infliction of certain harms, whereas the latter view children as agents empowered to make their own decisions and lead their own lives. Acceptance of these rights however does not discharge adults from the obligations of their care and protection. Such responsibilities are divided between persons and official agencies. Basically, the right of every child to have a family is protected by the state by not interfering with the reproductive choices of the adults. In this way, the concerns of social justice becomes relevant. Beyond the issues of social justice though, there is a tension between the interests parents have in rearing children and the general collective interests a society has in its children. The tension best manifests itself from the existence within contemporary liberal societies of cultural diversity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-12
Number of pages7
JournalPublic Policy Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Administration
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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