Abstract

Through an analysis of three recent cases—child labor on sugar plantations in El Salvador, juvenile detention in a men's jail in Los Angeles, and internal displacement of children in Colombia—this article seeks to identify what facilitates and inhibits advocacy on behalf of the human rights of children. Theoretical explanations focus on norm construction, which affects the form and relative "hardness" of the norm and thus its "compliance pull," which in turn affects the relative success of child advocacy. Grounded explanations include the sorts of rights being secured; the degree of freedom and interest of the media; alternative strategies pursued by, and the perceived legitimacy of, NGOs and intergovernmental organizations; the political regime type of the country being targeted; and the salience of the issue to governments, multinational corporations, and civil society.

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