Justice for children and during childhood and the particular political,
social and moral status of children has long been a neglected issue in
ethics, and in social and political philosophy. The application of general,
adult-oriented theories of justice to children can be regarded as particularly
problematic. Philosophers have only recently begun to explore what
it means to consider children as equals, what goods are especially valuable
to them, and what are the obligations of justice different agents have
toward children. In addition, while philosophers have extensively written
about global poverty and inequality, the issue of disadvantages during
childhood, especially child poverty, has only been superficially addressed.
This also applies to the Capability Approach (CA) as a normative theory.
Although the socio-scientific and economic literature on how to conceptualize
capabilities and functionings of children and how to measure them
in the context of poverty and wellbeing is steadily growing, the normative
aspects of these issues are still under-theorized. The CA offers a unique
framework to engage with both the topic of justice for children and
concerning what justice implies and demands with regard to
children living and growing up in disadvantaged circumstances. Furthermore,
justice and disadvantage during childhood is a compellingly interdisciplinary
topic that invites the combination of ethical and philosophical
reasoning together with socio-scientific theories and empirical knowledge.
In this special issue of Ethical Perspectives we bring together theoretical
and empirically informed discussions that explore the CA in relation to
children and the many disadvantages they can face in their lives.