This reminds me of a class on the history of childhood I took in college, where the question of the political status of childhood came up. It has been argued that children are an oppressed (possibly colonized) minority, one which is in itself a coherent, potentially autonomous socio-cultural group that would articulate its shared interests if given the chance. The obvious criticism against this argument is Lord of the Flies, and also that it's totally absurd. However, in its less absurd formulations, it highlights an interesting contradiction in our perception of childhood.
We do tend to think of children as a distinct social group with distinct group interests (much as we think of old people as having a shared interest in stealing money from our paychecks to fund their various life support devices). Moreover, to varying degrees, we also assume that they can make sophisticated ethical judgments. Consider the organization that made the video: its ostensible purpose is to persuade people to protect children because they are innocent and incapable of protecting themselves, and yet its ad suggests that children are in fact quite capable of organizing their own political campaigns. Consider also the widespread tolerance for violent or lewd media created for children. They're old enough to deal with it, we think, and "old enough" usually means over the age of four. But at the same time, we insist on their innocence and need for protection from corrupt adults. We want lighter penal sentences for children, and a juvenile justice system that holds the youth less responsible for their actions. Minors include anyone up to the age of 18, long after the point at which most people agree that children should be exposed to "the realities of the world." Melvin Burgess, the author of Smack, wrote an essay several years ago defending the "realism" of his book as appropriate to the ethical sophistication of the young:
Once you have decided that young people can contextualise narrative in their own right, make a moral judgement on it in their own right, recognise the difference between story and real life in their own right and understand that it relates to their own lives in many more ways than simple example or advice, you can let go of any attempt to lecture them, help them or, worst of all, educate them, and simply tell your story.Rail on, Melvin, but I doubt you'd suggest striking the distinction between children and adults in court.