The Appointment of Spokespersons for Children – Foundations for Decisions and Implementation

Hrefna Friðriksdóttir, Hafdís Gísladóttir

Abstract


In recent years there has been a growing interest in the rights of children in various justice systems. The interpretation of international instruments, such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child legalized in Iceland as law 19/2013, places a strong emphasis on strengthening the status of the child. The concept of child-friendly justice has emerged reflecting a vision of a justice system that has adapted to the interests and needs of children. A key element is ensuring the right of the child to participate, building on the notion that participation actively promotes their citizenship in a democratic society. The complexity of child protection cases makes it imperative to ensure that children get the assistance they need to communicate and be able to influence procedures. This article discusses the development of provisions in child protection laws on the appointment of spokespersons for children and represents the findings of a study done on such appointments with various child protection committees. The main results of this research indicate that the development of the law has been positive. The enforcement does not however reflect these develpments and there is a lack of formality, assessment and satisfactory argumentation.

Keywords


Child; participation; child protection committees; spokesperson.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.13177/irpa.a.2015.11.2.10

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