It was only towards the end of the last century
that children began to be looked on as persons
in ther own right, with rights of their own. Before that,
little thought had been given to children's rights. Children were thought of more as the 'property' of their parents.For example, the French Declaration of the
Rights of Man in 1780 did not mention children's rights.Even in recent times, the UN Declaration of Human Rights still looks at children as more in need of protection than as entitled to rights.
For a background to the development of the concept of children's rights,
culminating in the UN CRC, read : A Brief History of the UNCRC (click here)