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The Japanese Society of Child Science 10th Anniversary International Symposium

THEME : International Symposium on Children's Welfare and their Rights
DATE : 10:00 -16:00 Monday, October 14, 2013
PLACE : Main Hall, Okayama Head Office of Benesse Corporation
ORGANIZER : The Japanese Society of Child Science,
Child Research Net



■ PROGRAM ■


LECTURE 1 : The Welfare of children: Links and missing connections among science, conceptualizations of rights and policy research
Speaker: Sarah L. Friedman (USA)

The welfare of children depends on society's willingness to honor the concept of children's rights and to implement such rights. Society's concepts of children's rights and what it takes to implement them depends on the intersection of at least three different sources of knowledge and ideals: (a) Scientific knowledge about the development of children and the conditions that promote healthy child development (b) Conceptualizations of human rights; (c) Scientific knowledge about policies and practices that promote the well being of children. My presentation will discuss some aspects of the links and missing connections among these sources of knowledge and ideals. I will first discuss what the science of child development tells us about children's development and well-being. I will mention the implications of such knowledge to children's rights. I will then present the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child, the extent to which there is scientific evidence to support some of the rights and how the same rights could be extended in light of scientific evidence. Finally, I will talk about ways in which scientists can help policy makers who wish to implement policies and practices that promote children's rights and well-being.

For details, please click here.


LECTURE 2 : The 'adulteration' of adolescence: balancing the rights of adolescents to autonomy and protection in the UK
Speaker: Jenny Driscoll (UK)

In common with other developed nations, the UK has seen a significant cultural shift in the relations between men and women and between adults and children in the last century.
A patriarchal society with a shared understanding of social mores has given way to a culture of diversity and tolerance, in which individual autonomy is highly prized and men and woman are equally entitled to work outside the home. Many of these developments have been positive, including an increased recognition of children as rights holders and an overall decline in the apparent incidence of child maltreatment. However, it is arguable that some vulnerable young people may be at increased risk of exploitation because of 'overly liberal' notions of parenting, professional expectations of adolescents as having capacity to make their own decisions, and constructions of adolescents as 'troublesome' rather than 'troubled'.
This paper discusses these issues in the light of recent high-profile cases in the UK and considers the appropriate legal, professional and social response with reference to the principles laid down by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

For details, please click here.


LECTURE 3 : Current situation and issues of children's right in Japan
Speaker: Miyuki Sano (Japan)

Although Japan ratified the Convention of the Rights of the Child in 1994, it has been quite passive in taking legislative and juristic action for the protection of the rights of children considered as an independent self.
Meanwhile, in 2011, the civil law was partially amended and domestic law procedure established. Amendment of the former could be regarded as a sign to review parental rights with respect to the protection of children's rights. The latter clarified the processes for a child to participate in the juristic procedures of certain legal cases in which the relevant child has a conflict of interest. It also procured the right of children to express their opinion as an independent self. In reality, however, these laws cannot protect children if used wrongly.
To ensure that children are the real beneficiaries, it is necessary to promote deep understanding among adults, to warmly support children who are exercising their rights, and to establish networks among adults who are supporting children.

For details, please click here (Coming Soon).


LECTURE 4 : How can Business Support the Welfare of Children and their Rights?
Speaker: Warren Stooke (Australia)

Whilst the international laws and initiatives aimed at securing the rights of children are extensive, it was only in March 2013 that UNICEF, UN Global Compact and Save the Children jointly advocated a position on Children's Rights and Business Principles. This major initiative now requires strong advocates and widespread public debate to convert the words and principles into action and to produce real outcomes and progress. Accelerating "Progress" is what business does best and the International Business Community must rise to the challenge on Children's Rights.
Further, it cannot be assumed that the matter of 'children's rights' is uniquely a third world issue. The rights of children are impacted constantly in the wealthy developed societies. Business can support children's rights, particularly through the exercise of corporate social responsibility, across a broad spectrum. This paper will focus upon a number of Case Studies, where business can make a difference. Business can scrutinise their labour practices in supply chain, ensure appropriate and socially responsible advertising, manufacture safe products and healthy foods (children don't always have the right to exercise choice), eliminate corruption as a prime business ethic, and ensure that corporate taxes are fairly paid, as they support child education, health and welfare in our societies.

For details, please click here.
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