The Youth Rights Movement



In countries around the world there is a growing movement calling for the acknowledgement of the rights of young people. This movement is grounded in the belief that the rights of citizenship belong to youth as well as adults, and must be enforced as such.

Points to Ponder

"And surely there is in all children... a stubbornness, a stoutness of mind arising from natural pride, which must, in the first place, be broken and beaten down; that so the foundation of their education, being laid in humility and tractableness, other virtues may, in their time, be built thereon."  -  John Robinson, pastor of the 1650's Pilgrim colony in the New World, as quoted in A People's History of the United States by H. Zinn.

"The essence of the demand for freedom is the need of conditions which will enable an individual to make his own special contribution to a group interest, and to partake of its activities in such ways that social guidance shall be a matter of his own mental attitude, and not a mere authoritative dictation of his acts." - John Dewey in Democracy and Education


These are organizations and publications that work towards the advancement of youth rights in many areas. 


Featured Organization

A German Youth Rights Group


From their website: "We are a group of young people (13 to 20 years old) who stand up for equal rights for children. Our main subjects are the right to vote, school and family. But we are also engaging in other subjects that deal with age discrimination, such as child labour and kids and youth protection.  Through public relations work we try to call attention to these subjects and finally to achieve changes in society. We do several campaigns, issue texts, and are invited to events and we are always turning up in different places with displays of information."

This dedicated group of youth rights fighters works with networks around the world to forward youth rights. Their website includes information in German, Spanish, English, Polish and Esperanto. They have a lot of publications in German. For more information visit



National Youth Rights Association

Educates people about youth rights, works with public officials to involve youth in decision-making.


Americans For a Society Free from Age Restriction
Dedicated to changing the voting age, fighting curfews and other laws limiting freedom of young people.


A clearinghouse on youth rights, pushes for equal youth rights in society.

Canadian Youth Rights Association
Formed to reform policies limiting freedoms of young people in Canada.


Survey of North American Youth Rights

The premier Internet information source about current youth rights, advancing youth rights, youth suffrage, youth liberation, youth rights issues, and more.  Features the Youth Rights Self-Research Center, a large collection of search engines for discovering laws affecting the rights of young people in your community!


Mike Males homepage

Through his concise, practical, and academic methods, Males is keeping it real for the image of young people throughout the US.  His hard-hitting, fact-filled books and articles are breaking down Adultistic, anti-youth media stereotypes, and inspiring hundreds of young people everyday to fight the systematic and societal prejudice that prevents them from participating throughout society.   His outstanding books are the foundation of many youth rights organizations; his articles regularly rock the unfounded notions of individuals and groups working for 'youth development'.  Check out his website, read his work, and share the knowledge that Mike puts forth- he does it so well.  Also check out his regular articles in Youth Today.


Youth Liberation Association of Canada
"Youth rights through youth advocacy."  The YLAC represents its members by lobbying government officials and issuing press releases, as well as by educating the public about the civil rights of youth in Canada.


Mobilzing America's Youth

An all-partisan network dedicated to educating, empowering, and energizing young people to increase our civic engagement and political participation.


for more information visit The Freechild Project's Resources for Youth Activism




Freechild Reading List on Youth Rights

Includes books from around the world on dozens of different topics.

Youth Rights Library by NYRA

A collection of research-based and opinion papers by authors around the world on various topics included in youth rights.


Interview on Youth Rights

with German Youth Rights Group Kraetzae. Nick Aschbrenner, July 2001.(article)

Kids and Guns:  How Politicians, Experts and Press Fabricate Fear of Youth

By Mike Males. “Kids and guns” is not the problem, but a diversion by a complacent, established America that propagates demographic myths about age and race, culture-war trivialities, and sensational scapegoating to avoid facing its own violence. FREE PDF DOWNLOAD

South Dakota Agrees to Respect Rights of Detained Youth

from Human Rights Watch website.

Too Young To Vote, But Not To Be Executed

Pacific News, 2001.

One and Four

A new blog by youth rights fighter Alex Koroknay-Palicz. Offers insight, details, and resources for youth rights advocates.


The Freechild Project

Survey of North American Youth Rights, or SNAYR,

is brought to you in partnership with the National Youth Rights Association

For more information visit the Youth Rights Network


Return to the SNAYR homepage

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