The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

Taking Stock after 25 Years and Looking Ahead

In 2014 the world’s most widely ratified human rights treaty, one specifically for children, reached the milestone of its twenty-fifth anniversary. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and in the time since then it has entered a new century, reshaping laws, policies, institutions and practices across the globe, along with fundamental conceptions of who children are, their rights and entitlements, and society’s duties and obligations to them.
Yet despite its rapid entry into force worldwide, there are concerns that the Convention remains a high-level paper treaty without the traction on the ground needed to address ever-continuing violations of children’s rights. This book, based on papers from the conference ‘25 Years CRC’ held by the Department of Child Law at Leiden University, draws together a rich collection of research and insight by academics, practitioners, NGOs and other specialists to reflect on the lessons of the past 25 years, take stock of how international rights find their way into children’s lives at the local level, and explore the frontiers of children’s rights for the 25 years ahead.


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Biographical Note

Prof. Dr Ton Liefaard holds the UNICEF Chair in Children’s Rights at Leiden Law School, Leiden University, the Netherlands. He is the programme director of the Master’s Programme (LLM) Advanced Studies in International Children’s Rights.

Prof. Dr Julia Sloth-Nielsen holds the chair of Children's Rights in the Developing World at Leiden Law School, Leiden University, the Netherlands, and is a professor at the Faculty of Law, University of the Western Cape, South Africa.

This book has been developed in cooperation with the E.M Meijers Research Institute and Graduate School at Leiden Law School.

Table of contents

List of Contributors;
CHAPTER 1 25 YEARS CRC: REFLECTING ON SUCCESSES, FAILURES AND THE FUTURE Ton Liefaard and Julia Sloth-Nielsen
PART I REFLECTIONS ON DIFFERENT CHILDREN’S RIGHTS PERSPECTIVES
CHAPTER 2 THE CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD: 25 YEARS AND BEYOND Vitit Muntarbhorn
CHAPTER 3 PROTECTING CHILDREN ACROSS BORDERS: THE INTERACTION BETWEEN THE CRC AND THE HAGUE CHILDREN’S CONVENTIONS Hans Van Loon
CHAPTER 4 LEGAL CHALLENGES AND STRATEGIES FOR COMBATING ONLINE SEXUAL VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN: MAKING CHILDREN’S RIGHTS FUTURE-PROOF Corinne Dettmeijer-Vermeulen
CHAPTER 5 ARE ‘BEST INTERESTS’ A PILLAR OR A PROBLEM FOR IMPLEMENTING THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF CHILDREN? Nigel Cantwell
CHAPTER 6 CHILD RIGHTS IN THE UNITED STATES: 25 YEARS LATER AND COUNTING Yvonne Vissing
PART II TOWARDS MORE EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION
CHAPTER 7 CRC DIALOGUES: DOES THE COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD ‘SPEAK’ TO THE NATIONAL COURTS? Meda Couzens
CHAPTER 8 ACCESS TO JUSTICE: A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT FOR ALL CHILDREN Laurene Graziani
CHAPTER 9 THE ROLE OF THE PROFESSIONS IN EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CRC Jane Williams
CHAPTER 10 CLOSING THE GAP BETWEEN SOCIAL AND FORMAL ACCOUNTABILITY: EXPLORING THE ROLE OF INDEPENDENT HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTIONS FOR CHILDREN Vanessa Sedletzki
CHAPTER 11 THE ROLE OF INTERNATIONAL LAW IN THE JUDICIAL INTERPRETATION OF NEW AFRICAN CHILDREN’S LAWS: THE KENYAN EXAMPLE Godfrey O. Odongo
CHAPTER 12 THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD: A GUIDING PRINCIPLE IN ADMINISTERING CROSS-BORDER CHILD-RELATED MATTERS? Mirela Župan
CHAPTER 13 THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS’ JURISPRUDENCE REGARDING THE SEGREGATION OF ROMA SCHOOLCHILDREN: A CHILDREN’S RIGHTS PERSPECTIVE Zsuzsanna Nyitray
CHAPTER 14 THE MAIN CHALLENGES OF IMPLEMENTING THE PROCEDURAL RIGHTS OF THE CHILD IN THE FAMILY JUSTICE SYSTEMS OF SOME SOUTHEAST EUROPEAN COUNTRIES Aras Kramar and Milas Klarić
CHAPTER 15 (WHY) SHOULD CHILDREN HAVE RIGHTS? A PHILOSOPHICAL PERSPECTIVE Marieke Hopman
CHAPTER 16 THE VOICE OF THE CHILD IN JUVENILE JUSTICE PROCEDURES Stephanie Rap
CHAPTER 17 WILL NEW ZEALAND’S YOUTH JUSTICE SYSTEM TAKE THE NEXT STEP? Alison Cleland
CHAPTER 18 CHILDREN’S RIGHTS AND AUSTRALIAN MIGRATION LAW: ARE THEY MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE? Anna Copeland
CHAPTER 19 UNACCOMPANIED AND UNPROTECTED: THE SYSTEMIC VULNERABILITY OF UNACCOMPANIED MIGRANT CHILDREN IN SOUTH AFRICA Kirsten Anderson, Kara Apland and Elizabeth Yarrow
CHAPTER 20 THE PREVENTION OF CHILD STATELESSNESS AT BIRTH: A MULTILEVEL PERSPECTIVE Peter Rodrigues and Jill Stein
CHAPTER 21 PROTECTION OF INTERNALLY DISPLACED CHILDREN AND THE GUIDING PRINCIPLES OF INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS Rita Nunes
CHAPTER 22 PROTECTING THE VICTIMS OF CHILD TRAFFICKING Philip E. Veerman
PART III FRONTIERS OF CHILDREN’S RIGHTS RESEARCH
CHAPTER 23 CHILD RIGHTS RESEARCH FOR 2040: A EUROPEAN COMMISSION PERSPECTIVE Margaret Tuite
CHAPTER 24 A FUTURE OF MESS, CONFUSION AND COMPLEXITY? LINKING CHILDREN’S RIGHTS AND KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT IN A CRITICAL RESEARCH AGENDA BEYOND 25 YEARS OF THE CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD Sara Lembrechts
CHAPTER 25 PROTECTING THE LOCUS OF VULNERABILITY: PRELIMINARY IDEAS FOR GUIDANCE ON PROTECTING THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD IN INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIAL SURROGACY Claire Achmad
CHAPTER 26 TAKING STOCK OF BULLYING AND CYBERBULLYING RESEARCH AND INTRODUCING A CHILD RIGHTS PERSPECTIVE Mona Paré, Tara Collins and Miad Ranjbar
CHAPTER 27 CHILD RIGHTS AS A BASIS FOR THE REGULATION OF FOOD MARKETING: THE ROLE OF THE UN CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD Katharina Eva Ó Cathaoir
CHAPTER 28 A CHILDREN’S RIGHTS AUDIT OF THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT: INTRODUCING A MEASUREMENT MATRIX FOR MONITORING INSTITUTIONS Annelotte Walsh
CHAPTER 29 CHILDREN BEHIND BELGIAN BARS: RIGHTS AND RESISTANCE AGAINST THE PAINS OF IMPRISONMENT Esther de Graaf, Jenneke Christiaens and Els Dumortier
CHAPTER 30 WHAT THE CHILDREN THOUGHT: SOME METHODOLOGICAL AND ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS IN COMPARATIVE CHILD RESEARCH Elisabeth Backe-Hansen
CHAPTER 31 THE LEGAL EFFECT OF BEST-INTERESTS-OF-THE-CHILD REPORTS IN JUDICIAL MIGRATION PROCEEDINGS: A QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS OF FIVE CASES Daan Beltman, Margrite Kalverboer, Elianne Zijlstra, Carla van Os, Daniëlle Zevulun
CHAPTER 32 ARTICLE 12: THE TRANSLATION INTO PRACTICE OF CHILDREN’S RIGHT TO PARTICIPATION IN HEALTH CARE Ana Guerreiro and Kjersti Fløtten
PART IV TIME FOR ACTION: LEGISLATION, POLICY DEVELOPMENT AND ADVOCACY
CHAPTER 33 LEARNING FROM PRACTICE: SAFE AND MEANINGFUL CHILD PARTICIPATORY CHILD RIGHTS SITUATION ANALYSIS METHODOLOGY IN (POST-)CONFLICT SETTINGS Annabel Trapp
CHAPTER 34 TO BE HEARD AND SEEN: YOUTH PARTICIPATION AS A GOAL AND AS A MEANS TO IMPROVE CHILDREN’S RIGHTS SITUATIONS Karin Kloosterboer
CHAPTER 35 THE POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA: EFFECTIVE, STRUCTURED AND SUSTAINABLE PARTICIPATION OF CHILDREN IN DECISION-MAKING, IMPLEMENTATION AND FOLLOW-UP
Alice Kooij Martinez
CHAPTER 36 ENHANCING CHILDREN’S PARTICIPATION AND THE ENFORCEMENT OF THEIR RIGHTS: THE KENYAN EXPERIENCE Noah M.O. Sanganyi
CHAPTER 37 UNICEF: ENGAGING STAKEHOLDERS ON CHILDREN’S RIGHTS FLORENCE CHARRIÈRE
CHAPTER 38 SOCIO-LEGAL DEFENCE MODEL: REALISING CHILDREN’S RIGHTS Benoit van Keirsbilck and Anna D. Tomasi
CHAPTER 39 ADVANCING CHILDREN’S RIGHTS THROUGH PARENT SUPPORT SERVICES Pia M. van den Boom
CHAPTER 40 TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE: BUILDING A CHILD PROTECTION SYSTEM THROUGH SOCIAL PROTECTION MECHANISMS Mayke Huijbregts and Sumaira Chowdhury
CHAPTER 41 TOWARDS AN EFFECTIVE SYSTEM FOR CHILD PROTECTION AND PREVENTION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN IN SOUTH AMERICA Akemi Kamimura, Vanessa Orban Aragão Santos and Paula R. Ballesteros
CHAPTER 42 LISTENING TO CHILDREN AND PARENTS: SEVEN DIMENSIONS TO UNTANGLE HIGH-CONFLICT DIVORCE Sietske Dijkstra
CHAPTER 43 AMENDMENT OF THE DUTCH CHILD PROTECTION SYSTEM: AN IMPROVEMENT FOR CHILDREN? Goos Cardol
CHAPTER 44 CHILD PARTICIPATION IN POST-DIVORCE OR -SEPARATION DISPUTE RESOLUTION Astrid Martalas
CHAPTER 45 JUVENILE JUSTICE AND ADOLESCENCE: A COMPARISON WITHIN THE KINGDOM OF THE NETHERLANDS Annemarie Marchena-Slot
CHAPTER 46 JUVENILE JUSTICE IN THE REPUBLIC OF KAZAKHSTAN: AN OVERVIEW Anara Zholdybayeva.

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