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Dr. Marshall Beier Awarded a SSHRC Insight Grant

Project Probes Children's Rights and the everyday practices and institutions that translate the tension between children as rights-holders and as objects of protection

Aug 07, 2019

Congratulations to Dr. Marshall Beier, whose project entitled "Children, Rights, and Security: Global Performatives, Local Practices" was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada in their most recent Insight Grant competition.

The summary of Dr. Beier's successful application is:

Concluded in 1989, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is the most widely endorsed human rights instrument in the world. In everyday practice, however, children's rights are routinely ignored in myriad contexts. In Canada, a patchwork of different policies and practices has resulted in wide variation in the degree of implementation of the UNCRC from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The same is true both between and within other countries the world over, with many of those in the privileged Global North underperforming significantly. Against this backdrop, there has as yet been little in the way of International Relations scholarship engaging children as rights holders. To what extent can we understand children as rights-bearing subjects as opposed to objects of protections conferred via the granting of rights by other subjects? Related to this, how may we navigate the tension between this and their relative powerlessness? These are questions not easily addressed from a standpoint in which children figure as objects of protection and political subjecthood remains very much the exclusive preserve of the adult world. This research project examines everyday institutions and practices affecting children’s rights and security in the Global North and the extent to which they have variously implemented, failed to implement, or may even impede UNCRC rights.