An insight into a lively field of international human rights politics – the protection of children and their rights – focusing on the negotiations leading to the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Anna Holzscheiter uses a critical discourse-analytical framework to explore the different dimensions of power and exclusion that had an impact on the final provisions contained in the Convention, dramatically reshaping the identity of the child in international politics. Children were largely seen and treated as innocent, vulnerable and mute objects of adult charity and compassion until well into the second half of the 20th century. However, with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, children achieved the status of active rights-holders and subjects under international law. Holzscheiter explores the growing literature on norm change in international relations and sociological studies of negotiations between states and non-state actors, discussing at length the revolutionary contribution of NGOs to the drafting process.