What’s love got to do with it? Why a child does not have a right to be loved
DOI: 10.1080/13698230.2011.572426
Title: What’s love got to do with it? Why a child does not have a right to be loved
Journal Title: Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy
Volume: Volume 15
Issue: Issue 3
Publication Date: June 2012
Start Page: 325
End Page: 345
Published online: 4 May 2012
ISSN: 1369-8230
Author: Mhairi Cowdena*
Affiliations:
a School of Politics and International Relations, College of Arts and Social Sciences, Australian National University , ACT , Australia
Abstract: It is often stated in international and domestic legal documents that children have a right to be loved. Yet there is very little explanation of why this right exists or what it entails. Matthew Liao has recently sought to provide such an explanation by arguing that children have a right to be loved as a human right. I will examine Liao’s explanation and in turn argue that children do not have a right to be loved. The first part of the paper will be concerned with showing that Liao cannot support his empirical claims. I will then argue that loving cannot be a duty, and that even if we were willing to concede that it is, love is not always accompanied by loving treatment. Finally, I consider two alternative interpretations of the right to be loved and argue that even given these, children do not have a right to be loved.

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