Child liberation movement
The Child liberation movement works to give minors the same rights that adults have.
One problem with children becoming liberated is that adults have almost complete control over children, which makes it almost impossible for a child to work for his or her liberation. As with slaves in the past, children lack autonomy. Another problem is that children grow up quickly (most likely, a child would have to be at least 12 years old to be thinking about his or her "rights") and so he or she would quickly lose interest in children's rights as soon as he or she attains adult rights - usually within 8 years or less from first becoming aware of the problem.
The "children's rights movement" may be seen as an offshoot of the "women's rights movement". In the late 19th century and early 20th century, women sought to be empowered. Until recently, in Western society women were seen as requiring special "protection" (demonstrated by the code of chivalry which required chivalrous men to "protect and honour the weaker members of society" -- especially women and children)
Women and children were seen as needing "protection" from the sexual advances of men; Women were not seen as "agents" of their own sexuality. For example, until recently (especially in the southern U.S.) it was inconceivable that a white woman would willingly desire to engage in sexual activity with a black man. Any sexual interactions between white women and black men were assumed to be (and punished as) rape. As a result, many black men ended up as strange fruit in southern orchards.
As well, erotophobia led to the denial of women's sexual agency. Marty Klein has addressed this in his book, America's War on Sex (see link below).
A similar situation exists today concerning BoyLovers relationships with boys below the age of majority/consent. Young people are not permitted to have "sexual agency" -- they are denied the right to engage in whatever sexual activity they wish to, just as women in the past were (and still are, in many places).
An interesting discussion of children's rights may be found in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. The article begins:
Children are young human beings. Some children are very young human beings. As human beings children evidently have a certain moral status. There are things that should not be done to them for the simple reason that they are human. At the same time children are different from adult human beings and it seems reasonable to think that there are things children may not do that adults are permitted to do. In the majority of jurisdictions, for instance, children are not allowed to vote, to marry, to buy alcohol, to have sex, or to engage in paid employment. What makes children a special case for philosophical consideration is this combination of their humanity and their youth, or, more exactly, what is thought to be associated with their youth. One very obvious way in which the question of what children are entitled to do or to be or to have is raised is by asking, Do children have rights? If so, do they have all the rights that adults have and do they have rights that adults do not have? If they do not have rights how do we ensure that they are treated in the morally right way? Most jurisdictions accord children legal rights. Most countries—though not the United States of America—have ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which was first adopted in 1989. The Convention accords to children a wide range of rights including, most centrally, the right to have their ‘best interests’ be ‘a primary consideration’ in all actions concerning them (Article 3), the ‘inherent right to life’ (Article 6), and the right of a child “who is capable of forming his or her own views … to express these views freely in all matters affecting the child” (Article 12) (United Nations 1989). However it is normal to distinguish between ‘positive’ rights, those that are recognised in law, and ‘moral’ rights, those that are recognised by some moral theory. That children have ‘positive’ rights does not then settle the question of whether they do or should have moral rights. However there are at least good political reasons why one might think that the UNCRC provides an exemplary statement – in the language of positive rights – of how children should be treated and regarded. Nevertheless the idea of children as rights holders has been subject to different kinds of philosophical criticism At the same time there has been philosophical consideration of what kinds of rights children have if they do have any rights at all. The various debates shed light on both the nature and value of rights, and on the moral status of children.
These matters, to be considered below, need also to be seen as closely tied to at least two other philosophical questions: what is childhood? (See the entry on childhood.) And, how do the putative rights of children stand in relation to the rights of those adults who, arguably, have rights over children? The first question is considered at length in Part I of Archard (2015). The second question broaches the issues of parental rights and responsibilities. (See the entry on procreation and parenthood.)
1. Children and Rights
2. Critics of Children's Rights
5. Children's Rights and Adult Rights
6. The Child's Right to Grow Up
7. Best Interests
8. The Right to be Heard
Other Important Work
Other Internet Resources
You may continue reading here: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/rights-children/
UN Documents: Gathering a body of global Agreements
Original documents from the UN
Rights Of The Child
Optional protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict and on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, General Assembly Resolution, A/RES/54/263, May 2000, New York, NY
Related humanium.org web pages
What is the Convention on the rights of the child?
The Convention: texts
History of the Convention
The Committee on the rights of the child
Optional Protocols to the Child’s Rights Convention
Further Conventions related to Children’s rights
- Regional conventions
Education and Development
Children and Non-discrimination
- America's War on Sex, by Marty Klein - available here:
- The U.S. is a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, but they have not ratified it, so they are not bound by its rules. See:
-  Right to Freedom: Understanding Children’s Right to Freedom
- Child Liberation
- Make Way 4 Kidz
- Association for Children's Suffrage
- Jay Leftist Kids and Youth Liberation Links
- Americans for a Society Free from Age Restrictions
- (if link is dead, see https://web.archive.org/web/20060613054244/http://www.childliberation.org/)
- (if link is dead, see https://web.archive.org/web/20030602182751/http://www.brown.edu/Students/Association_for_Childrens_Suffrage/)
- (sometimes dead link, depending on if anyone funded the hosting account lately; see https://web.archive.org/web/20130614011117/http://asfar.org/)
- (dead link; see https://web.archive.org/web/20120725023143/http://www.oblivion.net/youthspeak/)