Children and Family in International Law and Practice

Theme:
  • Children and the Law
Pages: 9
Year of Publication: 2004
Country: Africa

The UN Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC) has often been seen as a threat to the family and in particular to the role and authority of parents. The fear is that the CRC emphasizes and promotes autonomy of children, an autonomy for which they yet lack capacity and maturity and that may disrupt family life (1). These concerns are based on a selective and biased interpretation of the Convention. If one takes the words and the spirit of the CRC as a whole, it is clear that this piece of international law is firmly rooted in the belief that children are part and parcel of their families, that children and families belong to each other and that the growth and development of a child is best carried out within a family  environment. This belief is not only theoretical, but is reflected in practices and policies of the Committee responsible for implementing the CRC throughout the world.

In this paper I shall fist briefly summarize the provisions that reflect the interrelationship between the child, her/his parents and family. Next I will give some examples of the importance of a healthy family environment for the child’s development and growth. I shall conclude with some suggestions for action at the national level to promote and strengthen a healthy family environment for every child.

Language: English
Published by: African Child Policy Forum (ACPF)
Author: Jaap E. Doek
Located in: Publications
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