Silent minorities : children’s right to be heard

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Genís Pellejà, Quim
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The new conception of children’s rights brought empowerment and protection but, at the same time, uncertainties and inconsistencies. International law, in an attempt to assess the real needs of the child, treated children for the first time as subjects of law. The Right of the Child to be Heard, is a unique provision enshrined in Article 12 of the Convention, which not only protect children as vulnerable individual, but also empower them as an active member of the society. However, the recognition that every child has an inherent right to say, is widely disrespected by the States parties. Indeed, the lack of listening by the decision makers is greatly represented when States parties implement the Convention in the field of legal proceedings. In these cases, the law has serious problems to balance the right of the child to be heard and, at the same time, decide for their best interest. The worldwide situation leaves certain doubts of the success of the Convention. Despite the fact that many efforts have been done, and many legal literature has been drafted regarding the improvement of children justice, the rhetoric’s usually differ from the reality.
Second semester University: New University of Lisbon
children rights, Convention on the Rights of the Child, participation, legal proceedings, children