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Over the past ten years the concept of children’s rights has received a greater amount of attention in legal discourse. Internationally, investigations into child labour, child sexual exploitation and child abductions appear to be increasing at an exponential rate. In many nations of the Western world, reports of prostituted juveniles, young offenders accused of violent crimes and harms related to the new technologies have impacted on communities. In the South and in many countries in transition, the incidents of child soldiers, child sex tourism and trafficking of young people seem continuously to be highlighted in the media. Jurisprudence developing from the decisions of domestic courts, administrative tribunals and within international fora has provided insights into policy issues while at the same time offering contradictory messages on the legal responsibility and status of children. Because of this, there is a need to better understand the current status of the law and what your role may be – as lawyers, advocates or simply as concerned members of civil society – in ensuring that the rights of all citizens are respected, regardless of their age. It has been said that the phrase "children’s rights" is a slogan in search of a definition. This course will attempt to find its meaning by surveying the history and legal development of children’s rights internationally, while offering a pragmatic approach to its application.  

Main Topics

  • The role of lawyers and advocates in International Child Law
  • The definition of ‘children’s rights'
  • The history and legal development of children’s rights internationally.
Faculty Faculty of Law
Study Level


Offering Terms

Term 3



Indicative contact hours


Course Outline

To access course outline, please visit:


Pre-2019 Handbook Editions

Access past handbook editions (2018 and prior)

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