The research is an interdisciplinary research, which consists for an important part of field research. The case study of the child’s right to education is part of a four year PHD research on children’s rights by philosopher Marieke Hopman.
Summary of the research proposal
The purpose of the project is to find a new theoretical and methodological framework for understanding children’s rights violations. Children find themselves in an interesting socio-legal position; they are often positioned as a kind of possession of the parent, even though they have individual rights. They are positioned as citizens of the state, even though they are not allowed to participate fully as citizens (for example they are not allowed to vote). The working hypothesis of the research is that to understand violations of children’s rights more, one has to look at law through children’s eyes. What do international children’s rights mean when looking at the daily reality of children? What legal orders apply to them – if any?
The research takes up a theoretical framework of a pluralism of legal orders surrounding the child. The framework and methodology will be tested in relation to different children’s rights articles, in relation to different socio-legal contexts, such as the child’s right to education in the Central African Republic and the best interest article in the context of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Ultimately, the aim of the research is to create a new understanding of children’s rights violations which opens up (possibilities for) social transformation.
In addition to a more theoretical legal/philosophical reflection, the research contains three case studies. Each of the following case studies will result in a separate report:
1. Right to education (art. 28, 29 CRC) in the Central African Republic (CAR) and the Netherlands
The dramatic conflict in CAR has been raging for several years. In large parts of the country schools have been closed for more than three years as a result of this conflict. What does this mean for the generation that is growing up now? How can they build up post-conflict society again, and how is this related to the child’s right to education?