Children have the right to contribute to decisions affecting their lives – it is enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. However, it is rare they have an opportunity to do so for major public health and social issues.
Barely a day goes past when a complex issue concerning children does not arise in Australian society. Indeed, the question of what it means to be a child living in the 21st century is a hot topic. Debates continue concerning children’s rights, the relationship between the media and childhood, obesity, bullying in schools, treatment of child refugees, the impact of children living in same sex parented families, resilience in the face of adversity and the development of creative school curricula. Each of these issues requires the development of a new policy response or critique of existing responses that will secure children’s protective, developmental and autonomy interests. The challenge is to generate the research necessary to achieve this aim.
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