An illustration of a pair of children, a boy and a girl


Fun with Childcare – An Illustrated Book Kodomo no “Jinken” maruwakari (Fully Understanding Children’s “Human Rights”)


SHIOMI Toshiyuki, SHINBO Shozou, NOZAWA Sachiko


144 pages, B6 format




October, 2021



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Kodomo no “Jinken” maruwakari

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This book was written for childcare practitioners and anyone else interested in childcare. It aims to provide an opportunity to consider children’s rights in practice by introducing the basic concept of children’s rights as well as examples from the field of childcare. The Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted at the 44th session of the United Nations General Assembly in 1989 and enforced in 1990, is a treaty designed to guarantee the fundamental human rights of children internationally. Japan ratified the Convention in 1994. Nearly 30 years later, in April 2023, the Basic Act on Children’s Rights, the provisions of which are based on the fundamental principles of children’s rights, will come into effect. There appears to be growing momentum to rethink the rights of children.
This book consists of three chapters. Each chapter is organized as a “STEP” and the three STEPs are designed to help you consider children’s rights in the childcare setting.
In STEP 1, we trace the history of human and children’s rights and explain, in an easily understandable manner, why and how human and children’s rights have been established. We also describe the basic principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and suggest what can be done in childcare settings.
STEP 2 describes the philosophy and practice of Dr. Janusz Korczak, a Polish pediatrician who is considered the father of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Dr. Korczak founded an institution for Jewish orphans. During World War II, he protected those children and was eventually sent to a concentration camp with them. We will discuss the essence of the practice based on the rights of the child through the life and ideas of Dr. Korczak.
In STEP 3, we will consider specific ways of interacting with children based on actual cases of childcare. Based on the given examples, we will clearly see the difficulty of following the concept of children’s rights in practice. However, we will also suggest how childcare practices can be enriched by listening to children’s views and opinions and ensuring the participation of children from a diverse backgrounds.
Recently, there have been major media reports about involvement in childcare settings that are suspected of being abusive, creating societal shock and outrage. We cannot ignore structural issues such as the treatment and staffing of childcare workers as a factor contributing to this situation. Meanwhile, however, there is an urgent need for those involved in childcare to deepen their understanding of children’s human rights to prevent such involvement. We hope that this publication will make even a small contribution toward this end.

(Written by NOZAWA Sachiko, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Education / 2023)

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