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  3. International Law and Children's Rights

International Law and Children's Rights (LAWS70120)

Graduate coursework level 7Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2018
Subject levelGraduate coursework Level 7
Subject codeLAWS70120
Availability(Quotas apply)
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Issues concerning children, whether they arise at the international, regional or local level, are increasingly being examined from a human rights perspective. Much of the momentum for this movement has been generated by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1989, and has been ratified by every state in the world except the United States and South Sudan. This subject is designed to provide students with an understanding of the CRC and the idea of a human rights-based approach to matters involving children. It will be of interest to anyone who works in areas that impact on children, either directly or indirectly, at the international, regional or local level. The lecturer has extensive networks with civil society, international bodies and government agencies that he draws on to provide an appropriate blend of academic and practical content.

The subject consists of two parts. Part one involves a general discussion of:

  • The notion of children’s rights
  • The international framework for the protection of children’s rights, with particular emphasis on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • The factors that impact on the implementation of the Convention, both in Australia and overseas.

Part two involves an examination of specific issues relevant to children and how the Convention and a rights-based analysis can be used to respond to these issues. The issues will be drawn from areas such as:

  • Sexual exploitation, including trafficking, prostitution and pornography
  • Child labour
  • Juvenile justice
  • Child refugees
  • Violence against children
  • Children in armed conflict
  • HIV/AIDS and children
  • Child poverty and homelessness.

Intended learning outcomes

A student who has successfully completed this subject will:

  • Have an advanced and integrated understanding of the relevant international laws, processes and systems relating to children's rights and their status under both international and domestic law
  • Be able to critically examine, analyse, interpret and assess the effectiveness of these legal rules, processes and systems
  • Be an engaged participant in debate regarding emerging and contemporary issues in the field of children's rights, in areas such as child labour, the alleviation of child poverty, the sexual exploitation of children, the impact of armed conflict on children and violence against children
  • Have a sophisticated appreciation of the factors and processes driving engagement and implementation of children's rights
  • Have the cognitive and technical skills to generate critical and creative ideas relating to the concept of children's rights and its application to a range of issues concerning children
  • Have the cognitive and technical skills to independently examine, research and analyse existing and emerging legal issues relating children's rights
  • Have the communication skills to clearly articulate and convey complex information regarding children's rights to relevant specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • Be able demonstrate autonomy, expert judgment and responsibility as a practitioner and learner in the field of children's rights.

Last updated: 29 March 2019