Applying Sen’s Capabilities Approach to the Delivery of Positive Youth Justice

Kate Williams, Heddwen Daniel

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Since 2000 the Welsh Government’s (WG) policy has been to provide rights and entitlements to all children in Wales. However, this is not fully implemented partly due to an underspecified meaning of ‘children first’ and ‘well-being’ and their role in relation to ‘justice’. We propose that clarity could be achieved through a novel exploitation of Amartya Sen’s capabilities approach to achieving social justice. This would require the identification and mitigation of socio-structural barriers which undermine the ability of a child to live a positive life, a life where they can meet their full potential without harm to themselves or others.
Original languageEnglish
JournalYouth Justice
Issue number00
Early online date2 Sept 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Sept 2020


  • Sen’s Capability Approach
  • children first
  • making rights and entitlements ‘real’ for children
  • offenders second
  • positive youth justice
  • supporting young people to reach their full potential


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