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The University of Southampton

PAIR3062 Children and Human Rights

Module Overview

The fact that children have human rights, i.e. children’s rights, and that these rights should underpin any decision, law and policy that is relevant to children, have been enshrined in international law instruments, like the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and have committed national governments to protecting and upholding them. This module will examine the theoretical approaches to the study of children’s rights and child protection, the legal instruments regulating the international and national protection of child rights and the main national policies adopted to translate rights’ protection into concrete policy measures on the ground. The module will explore specific case studies where children’s rights were violated. We will examine the protection of child refugees and unaccompanied migrant children in Europe, the situation of unaccompanied minors in the US, the issue of child trafficking and its human rights implications for children, as well as the regulation of and controversies surrounding the international adoption of children.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Key legal and policy instruments underpinning the protection of children's rights
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Analyse and apply various concepts linked to child rights to specific case studies
  • Understand the main legal instruments protecting child rights
  • Examine and criticise concrete cases of child rights breaches
  • Critically analyse cases of child rights violations and to propose solutions (policy, laws, capacity, funding etc).
  • Critically examine the interplay between the international, national and local responsibilities for the protection of child rights


1. Children’s Human Rights: Theoretical Approaches 2. Children’s Human Rights: International Legal Framework 3. Child rights policies 4. What is Child Protection? Theoretical Underpinnings and Scope 5. Human Rights Responses to Child Protection Challenges 6. Child Labour: Dilemmas and Responses 7. Protecting child refugees in Europe 8. Unaccompanied migrant children in Europe 9. Unaccompanied migrant children in the US 10. Child trafficking and human rights 11. International adoptions 12. Conclusion

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

2 hours of lectures per week. All will be recorded and posted on Blackboard. Lectures will be delivered either face to face or online only depending upon University and Public Health England Guidance at the time. Total of 24 hours of lectures (2 hours per week X 12 weeks) per module. Weekly student participation in online discussion boards. 1 hour per week delivered asynchronously. (1 hour X 12 weeks)

Independent Study114
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

.. International conventions International legal documents Journal articles Book chapters Online materials (reports, policy papers)



MethodPercentage contribution
Discussion board activity 25%
Research project 50%
Research proposal 25%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (3000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (3000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


Core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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