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The Moral and Political Status of Children$
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David Archard and Colin M. Macleod

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199242689

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199242682.001.0001

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Do Children Have Rights?

Do Children Have Rights?

Chapter:
(p.19) 2 Do Children Have Rights?
Source:
The Moral and Political Status of Children
Author(s):

James Griffin (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199242682.003.0002

Based upon an analysis of the development of the human rights tradition, the language of human rights is best reserved for beings capable of agency. Less restrictive conceptions of rights, such as those that link rights to the protection of needs, leads to a proliferation of rights of a kind that dilutes the normative importance of rights. Denying that infants have rights need not diminish the moral significance of their claims to care. The absence of a right need not signal diminished moral importance.

Keywords:   agency, claims to care, human rights, infants, moral significance, needs, norms, personhood

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