Youth rights movement in the United StatesThe youth rights movement, also described as "youth liberation," is a nascent grass roots movement whose aim is to fight against ageism (also known as adultism and adult chauvanism) and for the self-determination civil rights for persons "under the age of majority"--usually under 18 in most countries. The Youth Rights Movement can trace its roots to the 1970s and the books "Escape from Childhood" by John Holt and "Birthrights" by Gerald Farson. Perhaps the first and best known Youth Rights group was Ann Arbor Youth Liberation which lasted from 1970 to about 1980.
During the 1980s Youth Liberation faded out (for curious reasons) and morphed into a more superficially-oriented Children's Rights movement. Youth Rights is different from Children's Rights, and at times the two movements are at odds with each other (again, for curious reasons). Children's Rights are often restrictive, protection oriented, and paternalistic, that is, done for children rather than by children. While great strides were made by Children's Rights groups in combating child abuse during the 80s, great deceit was also perpetrated, i.e. in the form of well-financed professional adults taking control of childrens' voices and autonomy; a comparison of 1970s youth liberation literature and present literature should make that abundantly clear, despite the rhetoric.
In the mid-1990s a youth led movement for self-determination rights began on the Internet. This reborn Youth Rights movement coalesced in 1996 into Americans for a Society Free from Age Restrictions (ASFAR). Divisions soon emerged between radicals and moderates within ASFAR leading to the formation in 1998 of the National Youth Rights Association. Led by NYRA and its leader Alex Koroknay-Palicz the Youth Rights movement is building support, refining its philosophy, and intent on taking Youth Rights to the mainstream.
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2 Prominent Youth Liberation Individuals
3 Prominent Youth Rights Individuals