Youth Rights Library
Around the world young people are speaking up, demanding the human rights that match their responsibilities throughout society. There’s a library of writing about their rights and about the youth rights movement. Following are some of those book.
The young, free to act on their initiative, can lead their elders in the direction of the unknown… The children, the young, must ask the questions that we would never think to ask, but enough trust must be re-established so that the elders will be permitted to work with them on the answers. — Margaret Mead
Monographs, Articles and Books
- Youth Rights and Responsibilities — Published by the N.C. Attorney General’s office, this book breaks down every right and responsibility that state law in N.C. dictates.
- Rights and Responsibilities of Youth — United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Paris Published by UNESCO, 1972 72 pages
- Know Your Rights in Georgia — A pamphlet for youth from the Know Your Rights project of Youth Communication in Metro Atlanta, GA, 2000.
- Youth Rights [in Montreal — by Shellene Drakes for The Montreal Consortium for Human Rights Advocacy Training in collaboration with various community groups to put together a compilation of Quebec laws designed to help young people know their rights.
- The Rights of Kids in the Digital Age — Jon Katz, Wired Magazine
- National Children’s Rights Alliance Bill of Youth Rights
- The LA Green Party Platform on Youth Rights
- The Young Communist League Youth and Student Bill of Rights
- International Planned Parenthood Federation Youth Manifesto
- Declaration of the Rights of American Youth — A document written by the American Youth Congress and presented to the United States Congress in 1936.
- Interview on Youth Rights — by Nick Aschbrenner. An interview with the seminal German Youth Rights Group Kraetzae.
- 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.
- Young People’s Liberation Policy — A twenty-page statement covers Young People’s Oppression and Liberation clearly and completely. If you are new to this topic this is the place to start. This is the most comprehensive, clearly written document of its kind available.
- ZNet Youth Liberation – An Interview with Brian Dominick — Explores adultarchy and the oppression of young people.
- Youth Liberation – An Article
- Youth Liberation of Ann Arbor: Young, Gifted and Media-Savvy — “In Ann Arbor (MI) in the 1970’s… ageism was critiqued as an institutional force of oppression akin to racism or sexism. Kids were a hot topic, not only because they were controlled by institutions in which they had no say but also because they often had the energy and gumption to combat it.” A comprehensive history of a historically important organization from the 1960s called Youth Liberation, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
- The Student Movement and Youth Liberation in the US — by Tom Watts.
- Youth Liberation 101 — by Sven Bonnichsen. Begins on page 12.
- Anarchism and Youth Liberation — by Marc Siverstein.
- The Rights of Students (ACLU Handbook for Young People) — by American Civil Liberties Union
- Escape from Childhood: The Needs and Rights of Children — by J. Holt. (1975).
- And Justice for All: The Legal Rights of American Teenagers
- Children’s Rights Re-Visioned
- Equal Rights for Children
- The Struggle for Student Rights: Tinker vs. Des Moines
- Growing Without Schooling Magazine 2269 Massachusetts Ave.; Cambridge, MA; 02140; USA
- As Soon As You’re Born, They Make You Feel Small: Self-Determination for Children — by Wendy Ayotte. A classic collection of liberation articles for kids. From theory, to motherhood, to school, to resistance, and beyond. A vital introduction to a largely ignored topic that rails against child abuse, corporal punishment, gender stereotypes, discriminatory language (ie, “childish”), lack of money, state intervention, exclusion from work, harmful toys, school, and more.
- The Abandoned Generation: Democracy Beyond the Culture of Fear — by Henry Giroux. Corporate claws are tearing at the heart of American youth, while the media perpetuates the demonized and alienating perspective of youth as terrorists. Giroux exposes the effects of neoliberal policies on young people, and calls for action from politicians, educators, and youth. To read our full review of this book, click here>
- Channel Surfing: Racism, the Media, and the Destruction of Today’s Youth — by Henry Giroux. A broad survey of the impacts of American popular culture on the collective psyche of adults and the individual minds of young people. Giroux illustrates the various effects of the pervasive attitudes that are reflected in many youth programs: namely, the demonization and alienation of young people from community.
- Deschooling Our Lives — by Mett Hern. An anthology of essays devoted to looking at what education is and is not. This collection condemns the contemporary school system and offers alternatives such as home schooling, community learning and free schools. Ends with a list of other resources on the same subject.
- The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How To Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education — by Grace Llewelyn. “Your life, time, and brain should belong to you, not to an institution.” How to de-school yourself. Has details on all the issues surrounding it including the legal implications, dealing with adults and learning once outside school. In the final section it includes stories about what people have done with their lives when not constrained by the educational system.
- The Unschooling Handbook— by Mary Griffin. The very best book on the nuts and bolts of unschooling. If you are wondering just what unschoolers do all day, get this book.
- How Children Learn – by John Holt. “Children do not need to be made to learn,” Holt maintains, because each is born with what Einstein called “the holy curiosity of inquiry.” For them, learning is as natural as breathing. How Children Learn has become a classic for parents and teachers, providing an “effective, gentle voice of reason” (Life).
- How Children Fail — by John Holt. This book has helped two generations of parents and teachers understand what actually happens in the classroom. Holt’s astute observation of children, his clear simple style, and his lifelong conviction that we can do better by our children make How Children Fail an enduring classic.
- Learning All The Time — by John Holt. A look by Holt at his own life and how he never stopped learning. His writing about learning the cello at 50 will inspire you!
- Summerhill: A Radical Approach to Education — by AS Neill. (1962).
Feature on Mike Males
For more than 15 years sociologist Mike Males has been fighting a scholarly fight with mass media, the nonprofit youth industry, and popular culture as he argues that “the kids are okay.” His popular books, including Framing Youth and The Scapegoat Generation, have drawn massive attention to the demonization of young people; they have also validated and empowered many young peoples’ intuitive understandings of the situations youth face in mainstream society today. Following are some of his books and articles.
- Teens and Adult Partners — by Mike Males for the Resource Center for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention. Males explores popular misconceptions about teen sex, its causes and its consequences.
- Bullying Girls — by Mike Males in the Los Angeles Times. This article addresses the false perceptions mainstream books and the media are pushing about young women.
- With a drug czar like John Walters, who needs Osama? — by Mike Males in Youth Today. Males explores current policies and practices that sacrifice honesty for government funding.
- California’s Winter of Hate — by Mike Males in Youth Today. Males exposes the consequences of the increasing fear of youth by juxtaposing the media’s portrayal of youth with decreasing public funding of schools, services, and more for young people.
- Coming of age in America — by Mike Males in Youth Today. “Crazed anti-youth panics are rampant,” Males states, and quickly summarizes the entire situation facing youth today in a concise rendering of the lessons of Margaret Mead’s most poignant youth-related writing.
- 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.
- Framing Youth: 10 Myths About The Next Generation — by Mike Males. A modern exploration of the injustices youth face throughout American society.
- The Scapegoat Generation: America’s War On Adolescents — by Mike Males.
- The Child Savers: The Invention of Delinquency — by Anthony Platt. (1969) University of Chicago Press.
- Children’s Rights: Towards the Liberation of the Child — by P. Adams, et al. (1971) Praeger, New York.
- Birthrights: A Bill of Rights for Children — by R. Farson. (1974). Macmillan, New York.
- The Vanishing Adolescent — by Edgar Friedenberg. (1959).
- Children’s Liberation — Edited by D. Gottlieb. (1973).
- The Children’s Rights Movement — Edited by B. Gross and R. Gross. (1977).
- Children’s Rights Handbook — by K. Hefner. (1979).
- Children’s Rights and the Mental Health Professions — by GP Koocher. (1976).
- First Rights: A Guide to Legal Rights for Young People — by M Rae, (1979).
- Children of the Counterculture — by J Rothchild and S. Wolf. (1976).
- Youth Rights
- A Short Introduction to Youth Rights by Adam Fletcher for The Freechild Project
- Youth Rights Resources