Childrens’ rights and youth protection

Kind, schoenen, volwassene, schoenen, bescherming, foto: Daiga Ellaby via Unsplash

During the past decades, children’s rights have developed into important building blocks for the legal protection of children. This involves a range of situations. Various children’s rights are the focus of PhD research at UCERF.

Youth protection

How do we deal with children who are not thriving? This could be, for example, because the parents are not able to take care of the child properly. The question arises as to whether the state can or must intervene with their upbringing. Within UCERF, Joost Huijer performs PhD research on the way in which this occurs in practice. He studies files from the Child Care and Protection Board and judgments from the family courts to see when and on which grounds intervention with the parents’ authority takes place, and how carefully that happens. His PhD research contains an extensive analysis of the files in which the Child Care and Protection Board requests supervision and the decisions on the application for supervision.

Right to identity

Identity plays an increasingly important role in society. Remarkably, despite this increased importance, the right to identity is one of the least-known human rights. This is the reason why Soraya Bou-Sfia conducts PhD research into the right to identity of minors in Articles 7 and 8 CRC and in Article 8 ECHR. Bou-Sfia examines how this right is implemented at both international and European levels. Furthermore, our publications also devote attention to aspects of identity as part of national family law: for instance, changes in one’s name or self-experienced (religious or gender) identity, as well as the role of the government and parents with regard to conflicts about the religious or cultural education of children. Jet Tigchelaar researches how the law takes into account philosophical and socio-psychological conceptions of the concept of identity. Naomi Spalter also publishes in this field.

Childrens’ participation

Children have the right to participate. There is hardly any theme within childrens’ rights that gets more attention, not only in the legal domain but in society as a whole. Charlotte Mol researches how the right to participation is implemented in family law issues. This innovative research consists of an analysis of international and European human rights, such as Article 12 CRC, a systemic analysis of the case law of the ECtHR and the instruments of the Council of Europe. This is followed by a legal comparison, in which the Dutch system shall be compared with other European systems. This research thus provides input for national legislators, the Children’s Rights Committee and the ECtHR.

Youth got talent

Jet Tigchelaar and  Merel Jonker are involved with the project ‘Youth got Talent’. A collaboration with social sciences and geosciences in which they conduct research into the wellbeing and social participation of young people with a low socio-economic status. From the legal perspective, the central question concerns how rules and regulations guarantee and stimulate the social participation and wellbeing of young people. Do they guarantee equality and inclusivity? And what do the young people think of these rules?