Recently a “new sociology of childhood” has been proposed arguing that childhood must be seen as a social construct and considered like race, class and gender as an important analytical variable. It is asserted that children and their life worlds are topics worthy of study and that children must be seen as active agents in creating their own social worlds and society at large. The main implication of such a conceptualization is that childhood takes a multiplicity of forms over time and across cultures. Essentially these approaches privilege the perspectives of children and reject the representation of them as passive vessels into which the rules of society are poured as merely adults in training. This paper examines this new discourse by drawing upon the experiences of Butterflies, a non-government organization working for the empowerment of street and working children in Delhi. In particular the paper will explore Butterflies’ rights-based approach to working with street and working children and give space to children’s own experiences and perceptions in regards to this approach. The article focuses on four key areas: the right to participation; the right to freedom of assembly; the right to protection from economic exploitation and the right to work.