25 SES 14 B, Children's Rights in European Education. Dilemmas, Challenges and Implementation Regarding Roma Children
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) has its 30th anniversary last year. Emerging from the United Nations General Assembly in 1989, it has since become the most ratified international human rights treaty ever. Most of the European countries ratified the CRC and is thus obligated to ensure the implementation of children’s rights in practice. Operationalizing the UNCRC raises practical, conceptual and ethical issues. For example, questions arise concerning children and young people’s capacity and competence to make autonomous decisions in different social domains, especially in education. There are also debates about children’s involvement in dispute resolution and the extent to which rights must always be associated with redress in order to make them meaningful. Clearly, the relationship between the rights of children and young people on the one hand and those of parents on the other are particularly salient. In addition, challenges may arise in relation to children from the Roma-minority, for example in educational institutions. Although Article § 28/1 of the UNCRC stressed that “States Parties recognize the right of the child to education, and with a view to achieving this right progressively and on the basis of equal opportunity”, Roma students usually suffer in education institutions from multiple deprivations (Óhidy/Forray 2019 & 2020). Across Europe, there have been different rates of progress in terms of incorporating aspects of the UNCRC into domestic law and put into practice in schools and other education institutions.
The symposium discusses the situation of the implementation of the UNCRC in five European countries: in the Czech Republic, England and Scotland, in Norway and in Germany. Our aim is to discuss the following questions in international comparison: What rights have been accorded to children and young people in different social policy arenas and European jurisdictions? What are and should be the roles of the state, parents and children? What challenges arise when translating policy rhetoric on Roma children’s rights into meaningful action on the ground? For the next 30 years, what dilemmas may arise in relation to Roma children’s rights? What are the potential solutions? The papers discuss aspects of educational policy and practice as well.
The United Nations (1989): Convention on the Rights of the Child. https://downloads.unicef.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/UNCRC_united_nations_convention_on_the_rights_of_the_child.pdf Óhidy, A./Forray, R. K. (2019) (ed.) Lifelong Learning and the Roma Minority in Central and Eastern Europe. Emerald, Bingley. Óhidy, A./Forray, R. K. (2020) (ed.)Lifelong Learning and the Roma Minority in Western and Southern Europe.Emerald, Bingley.
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