The right to respect for family life within child protection: a legal and empirical review
PhD student: Mrs L. Hofkens
Promotors: J. Put, Mrs Prof I. Boone
Duration: 1/9/2020 - 31/8/2026
As a result of the recognition of the child as a legal subject, the state has increasingly taken on a child-rearing task. One way in which this child-rearing task is performed is through child protection. However, child protection interventions interfere with the right to family life of the minor, his parent(s) and other family members , which is protected by various childrens and human rights instruments. Consider, for example, the placement of two sisters in two separate foster homes, as a result of which they hardly see each other and their parents. Consequently, a tension exists between child protection interventions and the right to family life. This tension also manifests itself in the national child protection systems. This research aims to examine to what extent the Flemish child protection system (regulations and practice) is in line with the right to family life of the minor, his parents and other family members. To this end, an international and European assess-ment framework is being drawn up. Next, the relevant aspects of the Flemish child protection system are outlined. For this purpose, in addition to the use of the classic legal method of desk research, own empirical research is conducted. Based on the assessment framework, the (strengths and) weaknesses of the Flemish child protection system are exposed. In a final phase of the research, recommendations are formulated on the basis of this assessment, as well as insights from own empirical research and the English and Swedish child protection law.
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