Child rights

Monday, 19 September 2016

Praxis at the International Conference on Child Rights: Long-term Violation and Neglect of the Best Interest of the Child

The International Conference on Child Rights was held on 12 September in the Media Centre. It was organised by the Centre for the Advancement of Legal Studies (CUPS) and the AIRE Centre from London. 

The conference, which was dedicated to further promotion of the rights of the child, and to the resolution of open issues related to domestic legislation and practice of implementing regulations, was divided into three panels.

After the first and second panels, which provided an overview of general legal standards for respecting and protecting the rights of the child, and of the findings of research on the situation of the child in the context of criminal justice, the third panel focused on the legal position of the child regarding the exercise of a set of special rights.

In this panel, in which some of the topics were the situation of children with mental disabilities, the protection of children's interests in family matters and the situation of migrant children, Praxis presented the problems of illegally invisible children.

In fact, the analysis of the problem of legally invisible persons in Serbia unfortunately shows a long-term violation and neglect of the principle of the best interests of the child. A special procedure for determining the date and place of birth was introduced with major delays. For years, the principle of the best interests of the child had no meaning for any of the children who were prevented from being registered in birth registry books. The basic rights of these children were violated every day of their life without documents, while the state was refusing to take responsibility for solving the problem. Such a situation still exists in cases of birth notification, although it is clear that the inability to register the child’s birth and the lack of protection in the most vulnerable period of life, immediately after birth, cannot be in accordance with the principle of the best interests of the child.

Having in mind the particularly vulnerable situation of children, as well as the fact that the rights guaranteed by the Convention on the Rights of the Child should be available to every child, it is essential to implement effective measures that will ensure the registration at birth, regardless of whether the parents possess personal documents or not. Moreover, it is necessary that these measures be urgently adopted and promoted, because only by resolving the problem of birth registration, the state will finally solve the problem of the legally invisible persons in Serbia, thereby ensuring compliance with the Convention and respecting the principles of the best interests of the child.

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Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action