Institutionalisation of Children’s Rights: Transformability and Situated Agency

In: The International Journal of Children's Rights
Daniel Stoecklin Geneva School of Social Sciences, Institute of Sociological Research; Centre for Children’s Rights Studies, University of Geneva, Switzerland,

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In a previous article (Stoecklin, 2017), I considered the example of the “paradox of institutionalisation” () occurring in the drafting of the General Comment on Children in Street Situations (UNCRC, 2016). The vision of children’s “living rights” as the outcome of a structured process translating specific claims into an institutionalised set of norms () has been identified. Analysis of the labels used for “street children” underlines the transformability of signification, domination and legitimation in the theory of structuration (). In this article, a theory of situated agency is outlined. It provides a new framework to understand the institutionalisation of children’s rights as the dual structuration of subjects (children) and objects (rights) occuring in given contexts. This makes “rights acting children” emerge as an interdisciplinary concept.

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