Daniella Bendo (2015) “Children Have Rights, Right?” Child Advocacy in the Lives of Young People

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Categories: Paper, Youth Voice Journal


This article draws on critical theory, specifically critical pedagogy, to explore the construction of childhood and the work of the Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates in rights based discourse.

Approach: The article analyzes how childhood is defined by rights based documents and by the Council members. As a subsidiary source of data, I also explore more mainstream images of children’s rights advocacy through various media sources. Through a critical discourse analysis of these texts, the article challenges constructions of childhood in the discourse of children’s rights advocacy, while at the same time highlighting transformative possibilities that have powerful implications for policy.

Findings: This article highlights the importance of the Council Members as they provide opportunities for the betterment of children’s lives.

Limitations: Methodologically, findings could be strengthened by interviewing Council members to obtain their understanding of how they perceive young people and believe their work provides them with life-enhancing opportunities.

Implications: The article sheds light on the growing opportunities for professional advancement in Canadian Child and Youth Advocacy.

Value: The investigation also contributes essential knowledge to academics studying child and youth advocacy, as such scholarship is currently unavailable in Canada.

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