Children’s rights and spaces: an ethnographic look at children’s rights in Punjab, India and Ontario, Canada.

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Bal, Jaspreet
sociology of childhood , Ontario , rights , children's rights , space , text , Convention on the Rights of the Child , Punjab
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is the most widely signed and ratified human rights treaty in history. The Convention is law in the nearly two hundred countries that have ratified it including Canada and India. This project is an ethnography exploring the effectiveness of the text of the CRC in two contexts, one which is largely structured by text (Canada) and one which is not (India). To map, in depth, the top-down social relations of the CRC the author provides rich descriptions of her fieldwork in the Punjabi village of Butala and the Canadian city of Brampton. Using the new sociology of childhood as a conceptual framework, the author argues that the CRC is inherently flawed because it is in text and can therefore only create change in environments mediated by text.
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