What Is a Child? Concepts of Children’s Ontological Status in the German Political Debate about Children’s Constitutional Rights

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 08:45
Oral Presentation
Sabina SCHUTTER, University of Applied Sciences Rosenheim, Germany
After full ratification of the UNCRC there is an ongoing debate on the legal anchoring of children's rights in the German constitution. An in-depth analysis of the debates around this topic show, that the ontological status of children is an important discourse either supporting children's constitutional rights or rejecting their rights. Both parties are recurring on concepts of children and childhood. Discussing the contents of children's constitutional rights - following the UNCRC conception of provision, participation and protection, there is a focus on child protection as an constitutional right which leads to discussions about a collision of children's and parents rights.

My work analyses the political debates about children's constitutional rights an tries to show a historical development in the discourses on children and childhood as well as their status as family members. The material consists of minutes of the debates in the German Parliament and other written documents in the context of these debates. Concluding these discourses I discuss several Options of anchoring children's rights in the German constitution and the differing consequences.