Children and Citizenship offers a contemporary and critical approach to the central debates around notions of children’s citizenship. Drawing on different disciplinary perspectives and including contributions by leading scholars in the field, this book makes explicit connections between theoretical approaches, representations of childhood, and the experiences of children themselves, legal instruments, policies, and their implementation. The book contains reflections on the notion of children’s citizenship in general as well as in relation to international instruments, in particular the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), the case law of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), and EU legislation relating to citizenship and children’s rights.
Chapter 8: Youth, Citizenship and the Problem of Dependence
Youth, Citizenship and the Problem of Dependence
Introduction: The Significance of ‘Youth’
Most definitions of childhood, including the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), include all those under the age of legal majority (generally 18), thus setting up an age threshold between childhood and adulthood. The aim is to redress the particular vulnerability of children which stems from their dependence on their parents or carers. There are two problems resulting from the use of an age threshold to denote this. The first is that children are presented as united in their dependence, whether they are able to be dependent or not. The second is that over-18s are not seen as in need of special protection.
As a ...