Citizenship and childhood: The state of affairs in Israel

Asher Ben-Arieh*, Yifat Boyer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Citizenship is not merely a formal status. It is a source of human rights and entitles its owners to services, protection and benefits. Citizenship stipulates what obligations a citizen must fulfil and in what manner he or she is to behave. Citizenship is the prerequisite for belonging to a group (from a social and historical perspective) and as such bears a significant impact on identity formation. Therefore, citizenship is crucial for the well-being of human beings in general and for children in particular. Children's civil status (and their citizenship) determines their rights (including their social, political and civil rights). Furthermore, children's possibilities to develop and practise various civil skills, and therefore their activities as citizens, have a major impact on their well-being, as children of today and adult citizens of tomorrow. The article discusses the relations between citizenship - rights - and the well-being of children. Children's rights are examined, throughout the course of their development, in a range of aspects of their lives. An overview of children's rights and their civil status in Israel is presented, by the age at which children are entitled to them. A further focus is on the 'dynamics of citizenship' by analysing child participation and its influence on children's well-being.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)33-53
Number of pages21
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2005


  • Children's rights
  • Children's well-being
  • Citizenship
  • Civil status


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