The Best Interests of the Child Principle: Literal Analysis and Function

In: The International Journal of Children's Rights
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  • 1 Director of the International Institute for the Rights of the Child, Institut international des droits de l'enfant (IDE); Vice-Chairperson of the United Nations Committee for the Rights of the Child

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The Best Interests of the Child principle is an innovative concept introduced by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. It serves as a foundational element of the Convention and has been identified by the Committee on the Rights of the Child as one of the Convention's four general principles. Despite limited historical references to this idea in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, this is a distinctly contemporary legal concept. As a result, its content and functionality has been the subject of thorough academic study as well as systematic examination and elaboration in jurisprudential settings. The paper makes a significant contribution to this interpretive dialogue by providing a conceptual and literal analysis of the principle, including as it relates to other articles of the Convention. The political dimensions of the principle are also considered with a view to its practical implementation at the national level.

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