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History of Youth Rights
With roots extending into the late 1800s, the Youth Rights Movement carries a legacy of challenges and accomplishments. Beginning with the first adult who mandated anyone under a particular age attend school, extending into the crusade to get children out of factories, and maturing in the African American civil rights movement, youth advocating the acknowledge of their rights have been working for a long time.
Point to Ponder
"I wish we could look at this whole question of the activities or youth-led organizations from the point of view of the wisest way for old people to help youth... We must go and deal with them as equals, and we must have both courage and integrity if we expect respect and cooperation on the part of youth." - Eleanor Roosevelt, 1941
The following information talks about the history of the youth rights movement in its various incarnations.
A History of the National Youth Rights Association Written by Alex Koroknay-Palicz, this history details the history of NYRA, the foremost organization working for youth rights today. Koroknay-Palicz lays out a comprehensive and unparalleled framework about the roots of the modern youth rights movement.
The Children's Rights Movement: Overcoming the Oppression of Young People (A Review) by B. and G. Gross
History of Youth Liberation of Ann Arbor by Mike Mosher. A great, extensive history of the organization where most youth rights groups today have their roots.
Declaration of the Rights of American Youth A document written by the American Youth Congress and presented to the United States Congress in 1936.
Why I Still Believe in the Youth Congress by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. In this article from Liberty magazine, Mrs. Roosevelt offers great justification for a national organization the lobbies for and protects the rights of young people.
American Youth Congress The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project at George Washington University.
Holt, J. (1974) Escape from Childhood. Boston: E. P. Dutton.
Farson, R. (1978) Birthrights. New York: Penguin.
Epstein, R. (2007) The Case Against Adolescence: Rediscovering the Adult in Every Teen. Sanger, CA: Quill Driver Books.
Philadelphia's Youth in Action: Agents of Change This history of youth activism in Philadelphia since the 1960s was produced by six high school students and captures the rich stories of local activists, past and present, who discuss the roles young people have played and continue to play in the arena of social change. Produced by the Philadelphia Foundation's Youth Involvement Network & Scribe Video Center, 28 min., 1995 (Production Facilitators: Hebert Peck Jr. & Myoshi Smith)
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