This book has already proved itself as a course adoption leader in Childhood Studies. All of the strengths of the First Edition have been retained. The book is comprehensive and judged with the needs of students in mind. It is a model of clarity and precision and has been acknowledged as such in reviews and course feedback. The new edition thoroughly revises old entries and adds new ones. The book is the most accessible, relevant student introduction to this expanding, interdisciplinary field. It is an indispensable teaching text and an ideal prompt for researchers.



‘Child protection’ is a term applied to the protection of children of all ages by the State and its agents from deliberate or inadvertent harm, most usually but not exclusively in the context of family relations.

For as far back as we have historical records, there is evidence that children in different parts of the world have suffered a range of hardships, which many would now define as abuse, at the hands of adults and adult society. This ranges from forms of culturally sanctioned practices such as female genital mutilation, economically sanctioned practices concerning child labour, ethnically sanctioned practices such as the kidnapping of children from different tribal groups, and practices that have combined these elements, such as child slavery.

It is only the relatively recent ‘discovery’ ...

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