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Children as Citizens?

Friday, 1 November 2013 10:49am

International voices

Edited by Nicola J. Taylor & Anne B. Smith

children_as_citizensThe book

The rights of children as citizens have become an increasing focus of international attention as the 20th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is celebrated in 2009. Entitlement to respect and recognition, opportunities for belonging and meaningful participation in society, the right to express an opinion and have it taken into account, and the fulfilment of duties to others are all key components of citizenship.

This book reports on research with children and young people in Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, Norway, Palestine and South Africa. There were ideas they held in common – obeying the law, respecting and helping others, working hard – but it was also found that the features of different nations, whether inequality in Brazil, migration and multiculturalism in Australia and New Zealand, or conflict and occupation in Palestine, were reflected in how the children interpreted their rights, responsibilities and citizenship.

The editors

Dr NICOLA TAYLOR is a Senior Research Fellow with the Children’s Issues Centre, University of Otago and chaired the Childwatch International Citizenship Study Group which carried out this research.

Emeritus Professor ANNE SMITH was inaugural Director of the Children’s Issues Centre at the University of Otago from 1995 to 2006. She is a joint editor of Advocating for Children: International Perspectives on Children’s Rights (2000) and with Nicola Taylor and Megan Gollop of Children’s Voices: Research, Policy and Practice (2000).

The Childwatch International Research Network is a global, non-profit, non-governmental network of institutions engaged in research for children.


Havard Bjerke, Robyn Fitzgerald, Megan Gollop, Anne Graham, Line Hellem, Anne Trine Kjorholt, Udel Mandel Butler, Irene Rizzini, Hazel Roberts, Rose September, Mohammed Shaheen, Brad Shipway, Pernille Skotte, Anne Smith, Gjertrud Stordal, Nicola Taylor, Nisha Thapliyal.


'This well researched and informative book should be part of every school’s staff library and expected reading for all policy makers and politicians. With the increasing emphasis on using ‘student voice’ this book is an essential read, aid to understanding and guide to the future.' – Good Teacher, May 2009

'...a laudable attempt at a very ambitious project designed to capture children's and young people's perceptions of the complex concepts of rights and citizenship ...This study goes some way towards developing methodologies the adult world needs to enable children's participation, protection and provision rights. With this in mind, I congratulate the researchers' contribution to this growing knowledge base.' – New Zealand Sociology, Vol 24, No 1, 2009

Publication details

Paperback, 235 x 155 mm, 208 pages, ISBN 978 1 877372 62 9, $45.00
Out of print