Canadian Children's Rights Council
Conseil canadien des droits des enfants
Child Rights Book

Empowering Children: Children's Rights Education as a Pathway to Citizenship ( May 2005 )

Empowering Children: Childrens Rights Education as a Pathway to Citizenship

By R. Brian Howe and Katherine Covell

University of Toronto Press Inc. 2005

Cloth: May 29 2005 Active/Available

World Rights 260pp / $45.00 CDN

ISBN: 0802038573

Approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1989, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child affirms that children in all countries have fundamental rights, including rights to education. To date, 192 states are signatories to or have in some form ratified the accord. Children are still imperilled in many countries, however, and are often not made aware of their guaranteed rights.

In Empowering Children, R. Brian Howe and Katherine Covell assert that educating children about their basic rights is a necessary means not only of fulfilling a country's legal obligations, but also of advancing education about democratic principles and the practice of citizenship. The authors contend that children's rights education empowers children as persons and as rights-respecting citizens in democratic societies. Such education has a contagion effect that brings about a general social knowledge on human rights and social responsibility.

Although there remain obstacles to the implementation of children's rights in many countries, Howe and Covell argue that reforming schools and enhancing teacher education are absolutely essential to the creation of a new culture of respect toward children as citizens. Their thorough and passionate work marks a significant advance in the field.

R. Brian Howe is a professor in the Department of Political Science and co-director of the Children's Rights Centre at Cape Breton University (CBU).

Katherine Covell is a professor in the Department of Psychology and co-director of the Cape Breton University (CBU)Childrens Rights Centre.

Endorsements/Review Excerpts

With Empowering Children, R. Brian Howe and Katherine Covell have provided a valuable contribution to an emerging field. They make a powerful and persuasive case that provokes and evokes a response. The most striking feature of the book is its encyclopaedic character: it demonstrates an authoritative grasp of a wide range of issues. Particularly important is the capacity of the authors to draw on scholarship and research from around the world not just North America and Europe, but also Asia, Africa, South America, and Australia.

-Andrew Hughes, Faculty of Education, University of New Brunswick-

Empowering Children makes a passionate and well-presented case for children's rights education. It is very well written and argued, and engages nicely with the relevant literature (both historical and current), making insightful connections between children's rights education theory, research, and practice. R. Brian Howe and Katherine Covell's work represents a major advance in the field.

-Daniel Schugurensky, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto-

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