During the last decade concern for children has been put increasingly in terms of children's rights: the right to adequate nutrition, health care, and comprehensive child development services, the right to education, the right to read, the rights of students, the right to treatment under the juvenile justice system. Much of the discussion has been either narrowly legal, limited to law journals, or merely strategic,urging the formation of child advocacy groups, or largely rhetorical, proclaiming the fundamental preconditions for physical and psychological development without exploring their policy implications. It has become clear that the interests of children do not always coincide with those of their parents or the state, and that there is no longer confidence that current laws and policies, which give adults wide discretion to interpret the child's best interests, always achieve beneficial ends. What has been missing is a broad notion of what is appropriately included in the consideration of children's rights and, at the same time, a more specific application of these rights to particular institutions, policies, and legislation.

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