What Is Right for Children?: The Competing Paradigms of Religion and Human Rights
Martha Fineman, Karen Worthington
Combining feminist legal theory with international human rights concepts, this book examines the presence, participation and treatment of children in a variety of contexts. Specifically, through comparing legal developments in the US with legal developments in countries where the views that children are separate from their families and potentially in need of state protection are more widely accepted. The authors address the role of religion in shaping attitudes about parental rights in the US, with particular emphasis upon the fundamentalist belief in natural lines of familial authority. Such beliefs have provoked powerful resistance in the US to human rights approaches that view the child as an independent rights holder and the state as obligated to proved services and protections that are distinctly child-centred. Calling for a rebalancing of relationships within the US family, to become more consistent with emerging human rights norms, this collection contains both theoretical debates about and practical approaches to granting positive rights to children.