International criminal tribunals are in trouble. Lines are blurring between international legal systems. It’s increasingly difficult to balance the benefits of open trade with the negative impact of its volatility. Rhetoric around border and migration control is vociferous. At the American Society of International Law’s annual meeting (30 March – 2 April 2016), academics and practitioners will address the theme ‘Charting New Frontiers in International Law’. In preparation for the meeting, we asked some of our authors to share their thoughts.
“In many respects, children’s rights itself is still a new frontier. Although the first international instrument on children’s rights – the Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child – was adopted in 1924, adults are still learning to think of children as rights holders. The liberal idea that rights reflect and protect individual autonomy fits awkwardly with how many of us understand and experience children, especially young ones. The evolving nature of children’s capacities – reflected in emerging research on both early childhood and brain development – demands that we think of children’s rights differently than we do of adults’. But how we balance children’s emerging autonomy with their need for protection remains a challenge. Children themselves frequently have thoughtful insights into the human rights challenges they confront (and potential solutions). Yet the traditional view of children, typified by adage that they should be ‘seen and not heard,’ discounts the value of children’s perspectives. Children should be understood as partners in the human rights movement. Ultimately, children’s rights – and educating children about their rights and their responsibilities to respect the rights of others – are essential to building just societies. We cannot expect young adults with no exposure to human rights concepts to assert their rights. Human rights education must start early in life.” - Jonathan Todres
See OUPblog for the full story.