School of Law

Are Children Human?

11 November 2015 | 18:00 - 19:30 | Lecture
Moot Court, School of Law, The Liberty Building

This major public lecture is part of the Hamlyn Lectures 2015. Attendance at this event is free but online registration is required in advance.

This lecture will ask why children have been marginalised. It will trace the path to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted by the UN in 1989. It will question whether it is "very strange" to think of children as having rights, whether the child's "main remedy is to grow up". Early thinking on children's rights will be excavated and 20th progress culminating in the CRC will be charted. The contributions of Wiggin, Key and above all Korczak will be asesssed.

Why have human rights advocates, philosophers, historians ignored children and their rights and its absence. How important is the Child Liberation movement of the 1970s: is it ripe for reassessment? The significance of the CRC will be debated, its limitations and failures discussed. Do we need to get beyond the CRC and, if so, where do we go? What are the limits of effective legal action?

Michael Freeman is Emeritus Professor of English Law at UCL; a Fellow of the British Academy; Of Gray's Inn, Barrister; Fellow of UCL; and Editor of the International Journal of Children's Rights.

After the lecture, there will be a drinks reception in the Liberty Building atrium.

Hamlyn Lectures 2015:

  1. Wednesday 11 November 2015 in Leeds – Are Children Human?
  2. Wednesday 18 November 2015 in Nottingham – Even Lawyers were Children once.
  3. Wednesday 25 November 2015 at UCL in London – A “Magna Carta” for Children?

Location Details

Moot Court Room
Liberty Building
University of Leeds

The Liberty Building is number 16 on the campus map.

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