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Concepts that are useful in other areas of human rights break down in the context of children. Because children are dependent on adults for their development, they are an anomaly in the liberal legal order, which views negative rights as implying fully rational, autonomous individuals that can exercise free choice. This Article argues for a positive right to protection for children, rooted in dignity, by probing the problematic nature of the positive/negative rights duality and exploring alternate legal approaches to protecting children 's rights in both international and comparative law. The adoption of positive rights for children would help assure adequate protection, which the current American legal regime, as typified by the case DeShaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services, fails to do.