Children’s rights


The 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most ratified human rights treaty. All countries of the world, except the United States, have signed and ratified this Convention, thus committing to protect and promote the rights of every child in their jurisdiction, without discrimination. More than 25 years after its adoption, the hardship that too many children face in their lives has not eased, but rather increased and evolved. In the last thirty years, new threats to children’s lives and welfare have arisen, with new challenges to the endeavour to protect their rights.

While the image of children as human rights holders has been entrenched in domestic legal systems, children are not too often being treated as agent of their own rights. In Australia, migrant and asylum seeking children are being sent to off-shore detention centres, where their rights are being violated on daily bases, and their short and long term development and well-being are compromised. A new generation of children is once again being stolen from their parents, this time using child welfare discourse as a justification for executing this racist policy. In Syria, South Sudan and other places around the world, children know nothing but death and pain. Those who will survive these armed conflicts will grow up with no caring parents, after losing their childhood. Social media poses new challenges too, inviting us to rethink the meaning of the right to privacy, the right to education, the right to play and leisure, the right to information, the right to freedom of expression and the right to participation.  

The children’s rights project is a hub for research and teaching about new challenges to children’s rights, from theoretical and practical perspectives alike. Led by Noam Peleg, the project seeks to bring together students, scholars, and practitioners who work in areas concerning children and their lives. Current research projects focus on the child’s right to development in international and domestic law; critical analysis of the conceptions of ‘the child’ and ‘childhood’ in international human rights law, and identity rights of children.



Noam Peleg teaches International Children’s Rights Law (Laws 8104), International Human Rights Law (Laws 8181/JURD 7781), Family Law (Laws 3391/JURD 7491) and Law in the Global Context (Laws 2270/ JURD 7270)



Workshop: Key Challenges to Children’s Rights, February 2017

Children’s rights to legal representation: Lessons from the US. Guest speakers: Emily Buss (University of Chicago) and Kylie Beckhouse (Director Legal Services, Family Law at Legal Aid NSW), March 2016

A New Agenda for Children’s Rights - Noam Peleg in conversation with Wouter Vandenhole (UNICEF Chair in Children’s Rights, University of Antwerp), October 2015



Liverpool's children’s rights project:

Rewriting Children's Rights Judgments: From Academic Vision to New Practice (Hart Publishing, 2017) :


Photo © UN Photo/Mark Garten