Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1995

Abstract

Today, I will tell you some stories about real, live children, whose futures have been determined by our legal system. To speak of children's rights hypothetically, raises images of children suing to go live with their rich uncle or suing to demand a Nintendo system from their parents. I hope that by bringing you stories of the legal system's treatment of real children, you will have a better understanding of what I mean by children's rights and why they must be recognized. Although children's rights have been recognized in limited ways in the areas of free speech, criminal law and reproductive rights, a child's rights in the context of custody decisions have not been recognized - those decisions continue to revolve around the rights of the adults battling for possession of a child. I ask you to imagine children's rights, because I do think it takes imagining to view children as rights-bearing citizens, and not as the property of their biological parents.