Freedom of Education and the Era of the Rights of the Child: Can They Coexist?
Craddock, Caroline Kay
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CitationCraddock, Caroline Kay. 2020. Freedom of Education and the Era of the Rights of the Child: Can They Coexist?. Master's thesis, Harvard Extension School.
AbstractIn this thesis, I perform a comparative case study on the status of freedom of education and related parental rights in the era of the rights of the child. The aim of this case study is to provide insight into whether freedom of education and the right of the child to an education can effectively coexist. This thesis begins by clarifying the history of these rights and their implications in international laws and treaties. The thesis then turns to answering the question: Can governments effectively mediate between freedom of education and the right of the child to an education when these rights come into conflict, or does the right of the child to a certain level of elementary education necessarily delegitimize or, to a lesser extent, limit the freedom of parents to choose how their children are educated?
In order to answer this question, this thesis performs a comparative case study of the legal and political status of these rights in three nations: Germany, the United States, and Brazil. This case study evaluates and compares education policies in the three test nations. The data utilized in this thesis includes legal, historical, judicial, and policy documents from the test nations. In addition, this thesis utilizes scholarly research and philosophical writings on the topics of freedom of education, parental rights, and freedom of education.
Freedom of education and the right of the child to an education are both important rights that are affirmed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and both rights ought to be protected in national and international laws. This case study finds that freedom of education, parental rights, and the child’s right to receive an education can effectively coexist. As is the case with many other rights (for example, privacy and security), these rights may sometimes come into conflict. Nevertheless, these conflicts do not invalidate the importance of either right or the duty of individual nations to protect both rights. Law and treaties that protect freedom of education do not preclude the possibility that governments should step in if parents wantonly neglect their duty to educate their child. Governments can and should put monitoring policies in place to ensure that the child’s right to an education is protected. Likewise, laws protecting the right of the child to an education do not necessitate a government monopoly over education at the expense of parental rights and freedom of education.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37365079