In this chapter, I will discuss the legal effect of including the concept of human dignity into section 104 of the Norwegian Constitution, which deals with children’s human rights. I will present the reason for including human dignity into section 104. To analyse the effect of the concept, it is necessary to give a presentation of the content, which is heavily debated in legal literature. The concept of human dignity is often linked to the concept of autonomy. As children are not autonomous in a legal understanding, the link between these two concepts has to be explored. Another often asked question is whether human dignity is a legal right or principle. I argue that it has to be understood as a principle and as the foundational principle of section 104, and the foundation for the other child-specific rights. The last main question is whether children are a vulnerable group in need of special protection. The age and their dependency might place children in a twofold vulnerable situation. Finally, I discuss the significance of human dignity in a child’s rights perspective.
The book presents a comparative study of children’s constitutional rights in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The authors discuss the value of enshrining children’s rights in national constitutions in addition to implementing the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Central issues are whether enshrining children’s rights in the Constitution improves implementation and enforcement of those rights by providing advocacy tools and by mandating courts, legislators, policy-makers and practitioners to take children’s rights seriously. The study assesses whether the Nordic constitutions are in line with the child rights approach of the CRC both on a general level and in detail in three domains; the best interests of the child, participation rights, and the right to respect for family life.