Faculty of Law

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedCity (Melbourne) Term 2 2012 (Day)


For postgraduate Law discontinuation dates, please see http://www.law.monash.edu.au/current-students/postgraduate/pg-disc-dates.html


Securing the rights of children remains a challenge in the 21st century. Although the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CROC) is the most ratified of any of the human rights treaties (only the United States and Somalia have failed to ratify), the full realisation of children's rights remains a challenge. Children continue to be exploited and abused on a regular basis and the use of child labour and child soldiers continues. In addition, violence against children and the mistreatment of child refugees is a concern in many countries. This unit provides an in-depth analysis of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and its implementation around the world.


Students successfully completing this unit should be able to:

  1. appreciate the historical development of children's rights within the broader international human rights movement;
  2. understand and be able to analyse and critically comment on the theoretical debates about what it means to take a rights based approach to issues concerning children;
  3. understand and be able to analyse and critically comment on the international approach to children's rights;
  4. have a comprehensive understanding of the international human rights obligations and standards pertaining to children's rights, including the relevant international treaties;
  5. have a comprehensive understanding of the international human rights system as it relates to the protection children's rights, including the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child;
  6. have a comprehensive understanding of the variety of mechanisms in place in different countries for the implementation of the international norms pertaining to children's rights;
  7. understand and be able to analyse and critically comment on a number of specific challenges to the full realisation of children's rights, including economic pressures, political will (or lack thereof) and social and cultural factors;
  8. be able to critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the UN processes for protecting children's rights, including the state reporting system;
  9. be able to understand, evaluate and apply policy arguments for and against reform of the international system surrounding children's rights;
  10. be able to identify or find the relevant principles, laws and precedents and apply them to resolve issues relating to children's rights;
  11. further develop legal research, writing, and legal argument skills in the area of children's rights; and
  12. further develop oral articulation of legal argument during class discussions.


One research assignment (6,000 words): 80%
Class participation: 10%
Poster presentation: 10%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Paula Gerber

Contact hours

Students enrolled in this unit will be provided with 24 contact hours of seminars per semester whether intensive, semi-intensive, or semester-long offering. Students will be expected to do reading set for class, and to undertake additional research and reading applicable to a 6 credit point unit.


LAW7026 - Overview of international human rights law