If there is a child-king, it is not his fault

A text by Mary D’Hais and Fannie Heinrich on the Coordination of NGOs for the Rights of the Child (1)

“If a child king exists, he must be considered a victim of parental neglect, a comet that travels through space looking for obstacles that no one can keep for him.”

Samuel Doc, Clinical Psychologist

A few days ago, professionals and experts in the field of childhood and children’s rights, the signatories of this white card, surprisingly discovered the content of a press article written by a reporting scholar by making numerous connections between some legal principles derived from international human rights law. Others related to educational psychology (“exclusively positive parenting”). This feeling was reinforced by the misinterpretation of the basic concepts of the child rights structure, including the shortcuts adopted and the best interests of the child. Because if these large gaps are dangerous, they come from more and more educators whose sole title serves as legitimacy for a good segment of the general public, including parents and childhood professionals.

It cannot be accepted that the efforts of the child rights sector in education and training of child rights for many years are being thwarted by the media propaganda.

It should be remembered that reports of child rights experts regularly highlight many violations of the rights suffered by children: uncertainty, violence, discrimination, all forms of abuse.

Children’s rights are governed by a variety of key principles. Three of them seem to need to be clarified today.

The best interests of the child – In the scientific article, and in the communication surrounding it, a dangerous bridge was established between the principles of “the best interests of the child” and “the worship of the child.” In this regard, it is important to emphasize that the absence of structures and boundaries results in adults who misinterpret the notion of the best interests of the child and, moreover, do not distinguish between needs and aspirations. It is a trap of exclusively positive parenting, which in this sense does not respect the best interests of the child.

Learning boundaries is fundamental to personality formation. Just as it is a child’s right to benefit from this education, it is also a child’s right that this education does not take a violent form. This is important to remember at a time when Belgium is struggling to enact legislation to ban so-called general educational violence.

It is important to consider the exercises, whether they are parenting, parenting or teaching, in the right measure so that they raise children. They must enable him to develop to his full potential, in a caring environment, but to find and participate in his place in society (not only when he is an adult!) Is making the best interests of the child a primary consideration.

Furthermore, considering the best interests of the child as a priority does not mean denying the interests of adults, whether parents or professionals. The balance of interest should be made with more attention to the child only because of his greater weakness.

Participation – Surprisingly, we noticed that the children – first concerned – were not associated with university reflection.

Scientific Articles – Not Too Much “Child rights friendly “ – Even considering that the child’s right to be heard in all decision-making is one of the three dimensions that contribute to the phenomenon of “child’s religion”. However, within the framework of child rights, the right to participate forms an undisputed lever that contributes to respecting all other rights of the child. Useful Explanation: If a child’s opinion must be taken into account by adults (to enlighten them, for example, what constitutes their best interests in their eyes), this does not mean that their opinion will be taken into account. His interest. Good decisions are made as a result of listening and listening to children (who want to express themselves).

Child rights education and training – More than ever, poor understanding and ignorance about children’s rights puts them at risk of taking a (big) step back. The teaching of the rights of the child invites both children and adults – to respect themselves, to put their specialties behind them, to understand the reciprocity of rights in order to take a common or even universal view. Without any opposition, education and training on child rights is a solution to the concerns raised by the authors that the best interests of the child and the concept of child participation (combining their notions of worship) can create “future” citizens who are individualistic, egotistical and who belong to our democratic society. Represents danger for.

As termThe baby king UCLouvain prefers the media over the ‘cult of the child’ used by researchers, this is a new shortcut and “buzz” concept, which the general public will take to integrate quickly. As complex as this idea is, even more complex, the child-king is also suffering.

Children are human beings just like adults. He deserves equal respect as any other human being. As adults, will we accept that our rights and the principles that guide them are thus driven by isolated, individualistic, or selfish behavior? No. Have human rights created adults who are dangerous to democracy? No.

The child has no rights.

* The framework of children’s rights has been included in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention was signed on November 20, 1989, ratified by all states of the world except the United States, and has been binding in Belgium since 1992. In 2008, the basic principles of the Convention were incorporated into the Belgian Constitution

Original headline: “Baby-King … Blame for His Rights?”

(1) Coordination of NGOs for children’s rights brings together 17 member associations:

Amnesty International French-speaking Belgium

Arc-en-Ciel ASBL

ATD Fourth World Youth Wallonia-Brussels

BADJE (Brussels Reception and Development for Youth and Childhood)

Defense for Children International (DCI) – Belgium

ECPAT Belgium

Federation of SOS Children’s Team

Youth Forum


Forum – Brussels Against Discrimination

Human Rights League

Family League

Plan International Belgium

Walloon Network for Fighting Poverty

Youth Law Service Brussels

SOS Children’s Village

UNICEF Belgium

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