Using the UNCRC as a Frame of Reference for Ethical Research With Young Children (Chapter 40 in The Routledge International Handbook of Young Children's Rights).
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The premise of this chapter is that if we recognise children have rights, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) ought to inform childhood research. However, there is limited reference to the UNCRC in research ethics guidelines and how it can be used as a frame of reference to inform ethical practice in the field. Much of the debate to date has focused on jurisprudence and the legal implementation of the UNCRC, with limited discussions on how children’s rights are relevant outside of the legal and political sphere. This chapter will illustrate, with data from a research study, how the UNCRC can be used to guide researchers and promote a rights-based approach to childhood research. The UNCRC is as such seen as more than a legal document. An ethics framework informed by the UNCRC is believed to offer a more comprehensive starting point to research with young children. It is further suggested that using the UNCRC as a frame of reference has the potential of promoting a greater respect for young children as citizens of equal human worth as it challenges adult authority and necessitates recognition of the centrality of relationships in childhood research. (Author abstract)
United Nations; childrens rights; child engagement; child welfare research; research methodology; ethics