Rights without a Remedy? Children’s Privacy, Social Governance and the UNCRC

Tait, Gordon & Tambyah, Mallihai (2016) Rights without a Remedy? Children’s Privacy, Social Governance and the UNCRC. In Gillett-Swann, Jenna & Coppock, Vicki (Eds.) Children's Rights, Educational Research and the UNCRC: past, present and future. Symposium Books Ltd, Oxford, UK, pp. 121-139.

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Article 16 of the UNCRC states that children have the right to privacy; but what does this actually mean? The notions of rights, privacy and childhood are all socially and historically contingent. Consequently, framing children’s privacy as a natural right could be seen as problematic, to say the least. Pressures within the family towards increased surveillance of children, as well as educational imperatives for greater record keeping, increased use of personal data, closer scrutiny of student/staff interactions, and concerns over student conduct and public liability have all reduced children’s privacy rather than augmented it. As such, given that children’s right to privacy appears to be ‘a right without a remedy’, does this mean that Article 16 is ultimately pointless? Far from it. As with many elements of the UNCRC, it sets out an important symbolic benchmark for framing debates. Irrespective of the conceptual and legal shortcomings of ‘children’s privacy’, Article 16 puts the issue squarely on the table, and forces other social and governmental imperatives, rationalities and mandates to factor it into their calculations.

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ID Code: 95972
Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: Youth, Governance, UNCRC, Rights
ISBN: 9781873927953
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > OTHER EDUCATION (139900) > Education not elsewhere classified (139999)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Cultural & Professional Learning
Current > Schools > School of Teacher Education & Leadership
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Deposited On: 06 Jun 2016 22:50
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2017 00:11

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