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 for the self-determination civil rights for youth. The Youth Rights Movement can trace its roots to the 1970s and the books "Escape from Childhood" by John Holt and "Birthrights" by Richard Farson. Perhaps the first and best known Youth Rights group was Ann Arbor Youth Liberation.
During the 1980s Youth Rights faded out and morphed into the Children's Rights movement. Youth Rights is different from Children's Rights, and at times the two movements are at odds with each other. Children's Rights are often protectionist and paternalistic while in pursuit of positive rights for children. Great strides were made by Children's Rights groups however in combating child abuse during the 80s.
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.