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Newsletter: From Evidence to Action

THE RIGHTS OF ADOLESCENTS: THE MOST IMPORTANT ARTICULATION OF ADOLESCENT RIGHTS SINCE 1989

PAN: Children came across this blog by Alex Farrow

The launch of the General Comment on Adolescents in Geneva and Brussels is regarded as the most important articulation of adolescent rights since the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989. Adolescence, defined as “a life stage characterised by growing opportunities, capacities, aspirations, energy and creativity, but also significant vulnerability” is an increasing focus area for the rights and development community, and poses opportunities and challenges for child and youth policy-makers alike.

The GC20 attempts to bring visibility to the age of adolescence – still a contentious and undefined life stage – which remains a squeezed period of life; not child, not youth, and rarely considered in either national policies. Except in one domain: when it comes to juvenile justice, adolescents feature prominently given that this life stage spans the period when children become criminally responsible. Within UNICEF, adolescence has become an emerging issue as part of their focus on the “second decade”[3]. While UNICEF is traditionally known for their work on early childhood, their logic with this shift is clear: there is no point in keeping children alive until they are 10 years, only to abandon them in their adolescence.

Read the rest of his blog HERE