LW3ICR-International Children's Rights

Module Provider: School of Law
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Alison Bisset

Email: a.j.bisset@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
How best to ensure the rights of children is a complex area of concern at national, regional and international levels. Although protected under international law, ideas about who children are, how they should be treated and the roles they should fulfill vary across countries and cultures. Realization of their rights is impacted by political, economic, social and religious realities. This module examines the international laws that protect children’s rights and the difficulties of realizing those rights in practice. The module considers the meaning(s) of children and childhood and the consequences of the different interpretations and understandings of these terms for the realization of children’s rights. Through a series of case studies, on issues such as child soldiers, child labourers and street children, the module reflects on the contribution of political, economic and cultural factors to children’s suffering and on the ability of international law to deliver change.

This module aims to introduce students to the theory and practice of international children’s rights. It aims to provide a core knowledge and understanding of the relevant international legal frameworks, the concepts and theories that underpin them and the contexts in which they apply. The module also aims to develop an understanding of the complex interactions and intersections of international law and domestic politics, economics and cultural norms. By foregrounding theoretical and conceptual analysis the module aims to encourage critical reflection as to the basis of law’s role in this area and the limits of its ability to bring about social change.

Assessable learning outcomes:
On completion of the module, students will be expected to be able to:??
•Explain sociological theories of childhood.
•Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the international children’s rights frameworks.
•Critically assess the compatibility of the legal frameworks with sociological understandings of childhood.
•Apply principles of international law and theories of childhood to contemporary issues concerning children’s rights.
•Demonstrate an understanding of the challenges of realizing children’s rights and the relationship between rights and political, economic, social and cultural realities.
•Draw upon a body of detailed substantive knowledge gained through both class participation and self-study, and apply this to contemporary dilemmas arising in international children’s rights in an assessed oral presentation and piece of written work.

Additional outcomes:
•The small group teaching and independent study elements of this module will facilitate the development of high-level oral communication skills and the enhancement of individual critical analysis ability.
•These outcomes are in addition to those listed in the School’s “core skills statement”.

Outline content:

This module will cover such topics as: • The Sociology of Childhood • The Origins and Evolution of Children’s Rights • The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child • Autonomy and Victimhood • Child Soldiers • Child Labour • Children Accused of Witchcraft

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Teaching in this module is designed to provide students with a range of resources on which they can draw in their learning. The main elements are:?
•A list of required and recommended readings with a list of notes and questions that will guide preparation and class discussion.
•Ten weekly seminar classes of 2 hours each.
•An “essay surgery” during which students will have the opportunity to discuss issues relating to their written assessed work.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 20 4
Guided independent study 80 96
Total hours by term 100.00 100.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 70
Oral assessment and presentation 30

Other information on summative assessment:
An assessed essay of not more than 10 pages formatted in accordance with the rules set out in the Law School Guide.
One 20 minute group presentation on which students will receive written feedback and marks will be awarded by team.

Formative assessment methods:
Students will have the opportunity to submit an essay plan to the Module Convenor or their seminar group leader prior to submission of the assessed essay.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:

    Reassessment arrangements:
    See School Guide (Programme Assessment), but note that only the failed element(s) must be retaken with marks for the passed element being carried forward.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 31 March 2017

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