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Bang Jung Whan – The Korean Pioneer of Children’s Rights

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Almost a century ago, when the international community was becoming aware of the importance of children and the concept of children’s rights, a visionary pioneer from Korea also initiated a children’s movement. The concept of children’s rights is commonly believed to be a Western concept. But Bang Jung Whan was also advocating for the realisation of what the contemporary international community is still grappling with. This article introduces Bang Jung Whan (1899–1931) who is better known in Korea for his work in children’s literature. Respect for the human dignity of children characterises his philosophical foundation. This article examines Bang Jung Whan’s contribution to children’s rights. Links will be made to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Affiliations: 1: Professor, Department of Child Psychology & Education, Sungkyunkwan University, Korea, ; 2: Chief Program Officer, International Child Rights Centre, Korea,


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