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 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 research into 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 contained an extensive analysis of the files in which the Child Care and Protection Board requests supervision and the decisions on the application for supervision.

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. In the project ‘Listen! Promoting child participation around divorce’, Charlotte Mol and Wendy Schrama study child participation in the context of divorce together with colleagues from pedagogical sciences. In 2021, the International Handbook on Child Participation in Family Law was published, edited by Wendy Schrama and others, in which authors from 17 different countries describe child participation in their country. In addition, Charlotte Mol’s dissertation was published in 2022, consisting of an innovative study of Article 12 of the CRC and the case law of the ECHR in the field of child participation.

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?