Research seminar: The child equality perspective

As part of IDEA's 2020-21 research seminar series, we welcome Dr Jenny Krutzinna from the University of Bergen to discuss the moral rights of children in big decisions.


“Children’s rights are implemented globally to protect the rights and interests of children. While the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) sets out clear rights for all children to ensure they are fully prepared for an individual life in society, children necessarily depend on the state for the realisation and enjoyment of their rights collectively and individually.

Throughout their childhoods, children are subjected to the authority of the state who makes decisions concerning them in their ‘best interests’. The CRC provides that in all actions concerning children, the child’s best interests are a primary consideration (Art. 3) and guarantees children a right to express their views and to be heard in matters concerning them (Art. 12 CRC).

This “right to participation” has gained significant attention in recent years, but too often children remain excluded from decision-making processes. We argue that the right is too limited in its scope because it effectively restricts the right of children to be ‘seen’ in decisions concerning them to those with certain cognitive and communicative capacities. Thus, a serious concern relates to the inclusion of children incapable of forming and/or expressing their views, whether due to age or impairment. Their lack of capacity for direct participation risks their unique perspective getting lost in decision-making. This, we argue, is morally and legally problematic.

To counter this challenge, we develop a Child Equality Perspective, which demands the child’s presence in decision-making even for children unable to partake fully in the process. Drawing on the empirical study of newborns removed from their parents’ care, we demonstrate the need for such a perspective to address the current invisibility of children in intrusive and life-altering state decision-making, and illustrate how such a perspective may play out in practice.”

Find out more about Dr Jenny Krutzinna from the University of Bergen.

Join the seminar

Join the event via MS Teams.

Please see our 2020-21 schedule for more upcoming research seminars.

This research seminar series of webinars is curated by Dr Andrew Kirton.