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The Canadian Journal of Children’s Rights (CJCR) invites interested contributors to submit articles to its special themed issue entitled “Disability and Children’s Rights: Reflecting on the CRC–30 Years and Beyond.” In marking the 30-year anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), this theme issue will focus on children with disabilities and human rights in Canada and across transnational borders. Globally, one in twenty children live with some significant disabilities–many of them a product of inadequate food, inaccessible heath care, clean water, and other basic needs that have impacts on their overall growth and well-being (UNICEF, 2013). Mass migration, enhanced border control, and aggressive policies that separate children from their parents in the United States, Australia, and across the European borders have constituted and increased children’s statelessness (Balint, 2016; Boyden & Hart, 2007; Pisani & Grech, 2017). These human conditions have deprived these children from their right to have rights (Arendt, 1968)–the rights of every individual to belong to their political communities.

To mark the 30-year anniversary of the CRC, this themed issue is intended to span what Pisani & Grech (2017) refer to as “critical intersectionalities.” Such an approach calls for critical interrogations of the intersections of, and tension among, the fields of human rights and children’s rights, disability studies, childhood/girlhood studies, inclusive education, migration studies, social work, history, and political science with regard to the rights of children with disabilities. This approach also calls for a critical perspective on disabled children’s intersectional childhoods, recognizing colonial, neo-colonial and neo-imperialist histories in shaping the situations of disabled children (Erevelles, 2011). Disability studies highlight the need to challenge what might be called ablenationalism, which, as disability studies scholars explain, is “the degree to which treating people with disabilities as an exception valorizes able-bodied norms of inclusion as the naturalized qualification of citizenship” by modern states (Snyder & Mitchell, 2010, p.113). This themed issue not only reclaims the rights of children having physical, psychological, cognitive or sensory impairments; it also recognizes the diversity of disabled childhoods, including female, trans and queer children, racialized children, refugees, children defined as orphans, in relation to structural conditions shaping the inequalities between countries and communities in the global North and South.

The challenges of children’s rights and disability, displayed at conceptual, institutional, and methodological levels, invite many questions:

  • How are the rights of children with disabilities conceptualized and by whom?
  • Who defines who is disabled and who is not?
  • What rights are seen as most essential and for whom?
  • What structural, political, economic, and cultural conditions prevent disabled children from enjoying their rights?
  • How do disabled children experience violence in the context of war, transnational migration, displacement, and statelessness?
  • How do gender, class, sexuality, ethnicity, and nation impact these experiences and constructions of the children in relationship to the state?
  • What are the tensions between state sovereignty and forms of violence that are yet to be tackled by children’s rights scholars and activists?
  • How can “ablenationalism” be theorized using a combined disability studies/ children’s rights lens?
  • What methodologies are being used to enhance the participation of these children?
  • How can disabled children’s views be engaged with more politically?

The guest editors invite critical reviews, empirical research studies especially those that privilege the agency of children, analysis of the meaning, implications, challenges, and impacts of the CRC and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) for disabled children in different local contexts. We encourage potential authors–academics, practitioners, policymakers, children’s rights and human rights activists and young people themselves — to think through, reflect on, and generate stimulating and challenging discussions about diverse forms of disabled children’s childhoods in relation to the conditions which shape and re-shape their intersectional identities.

Each manuscript submission will undergo a masked peer review process: double masked review of scholarly articles and single masked review for submissions to the open section.

The deadline for online submission of full manuscripts (up to 8,000 words plus references for scholarly articles) for the 2019 Issue is April 1, 2019.

Further inquiries to: Dr. Xuan Thuy Nguyen at or Dr. Claudia Mitchell at

CFP – Special Issue of the Canadian Journal of Children’s Rights: Disability and Children’s Rights