Standard Article

Children's Rights

  1. David Archard

Published Online: 1 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444367072.wbiee069

The International Encyclopedia of Ethics

How to Cite

Archard, D. 2013. Children's Rights. The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 FEB 2013


Any discussion of children's rights must ask whether children do have rights and, if they do, what rights they have. It should at the outset acknowledge the basic distinction between moral and legal or positive rights (see Rights). The latter are those rights which, as a matter of fact, have been accorded to persons in law or by existing institutional rules; the former are those rights whose ascription to individuals can be morally justified. Clearly moral rights need not be positively recognized, and, conversely, those rights that individuals are given in law may lack any moral warrant.


  • twentieth century;
  • politics;
  • practical (applied) ethics;
  • children;
  • family;
  • rights