New Zealand Children and Young People's Perspectives on Citizenship

In: The International Journal of Children's Rights
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  • 1 Children's Issues Centre, University of Otago, New Zealand
  • 2 Children's Issues Centre, University of Otago, New Zealand
  • 3 Children's Issues Centre, University of Otago, New Zealand

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Abstract

The perspectives of 66 children and young people (aged 8/9 and 14/15 years) on their understanding of citizenship issues were obtained through focus group discussions in New Zealand schools. The children reported on their rights and responsibilities in the everyday contexts of home, school and community. An imaginary country exercise was also utilized to compare children's responses with their current lives in New Zealand. Children generally conceived of the new land as safer, happier and healthier, with greater freedoms and respect than they currently enjoyed.

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