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Law of Peace(making) and Children’s International Human Rights

Sarah M. Field

Law of Peace(making) and Children’s International Human Rights reframes a feminist legal method to children’s particular standing as subjects of human rights, and applies it to the context of peace(making). It asks the child question: Why are children mostly unqualified in the successive peace agreements that constitute peacemaking? Is it justified from the perspective of the law of peace? May children’s rights yield to the pursuance of peace? If not, why are children and their rights mostly unqualified in peacemaking? And, how might this be transformed? Part I begins by reflecting on the juristic and human rights context. What brings peace processes into being? What law regulates the process? What rights are applicable? And how, if at all, are they accommodated to the context? It provides a framework for applying the child question to the peace processes of South Africa and Northern Ireland in Part II.

Through this staged process, the study yields overlapping legal and political opportunities for giving effect to children’s rights in peacemaking, and develops suppositions as to why children are mostly unqualified in peacemaking. Key to driving human rights based change for children it argues is constituting the process with structural mechanisms to ensure children’s presence as subjects of human rights is qualified and accorded significance on matters affecting them. It brings children into being in the staged process, and supports the parties to comply with their broader international human rights obligations and commitments to giving effect to the same.

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