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We Have Voices, Too: A Literature Review of Chinese Children's Participation Rights

Lixia Qin 1

Journal of Social Research & Policy
Volume: 8, Issue: 1, pp. 17-31
Date: July 2017
ISSN: 2067-2640 (print), 2068-9861 (electronic)

Abstract: As China’s society and economy have become more open, the concept of enhancing Chinese children’s participation rights has drawn considerable attention from diverse fields. While still relatively limited, research on Chinese children’s participation rights has experienced impressive growth since the 1990s. By reviewing the literature written in English and Chinese, this study maps the academic discourse on Chinese children’s participation rights. The starting point of the study is a review of contemporary China’s social, cultural, and legal contexts in which children’s participation rights have been influenced and shaped. Next, the study reviews the research examining Chinese children’s participation rights within specific contexts (e.g., school and family, and rural and urban settings). Guided by the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, the study focuses on two major participation rights of children: free expression and participation in decision-making processes. A number of theoretical and empirical studies that enable an integrated understanding of Chinese children’s participation rights have been included. Four main findings are highlighted. In addition, the study contributes to the scholarship and social practice by identifying gaps in the research and providing insights for future study.
Keywords: Children; Participation Rights; Free Expression; Right to Make Decisions; China.

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Sara Debora Topciu,
Feb 11, 2019, 1:06 AM