What Human Rights do for Children

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Children
2011
UK

Children abducted by a parent should generally be returned immediately

Related European Convention Articles

Children were abducted by their mother, without their father's knowledge, from Norway and brought to the UK. The children would be returned to Norway as, overall, it was in their best interests.

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Children
2008
UK

Children can be protected against intrusive media attention

Related European Convention Articles

A photograph of the author JK Rowling's son was taken and published without permission or consent. It was decided that the child was entitled to privacy and the law should protect children against intrusive media attention.

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Children
2012
UK

Children’s identities are usually kept secret in personal injury cases

Related European Convention Articles

A child was involved in a personal injury case. The child's identity was kept a secret, to ensure her compensation was protected from those who might misuse the funds. Publication would breach her right to privacy / family life.

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Children
2007
Europe

Children of all races must have equal access to education

Related European Convention Articles

Disproportionate numbers of Roma children were placed in special schools. This breached their right to access to primary education and their right not to be discriminated against on racial grounds.

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    Children
    2012
    UK

    Children in care must be properly protected by the state

    Related European Convention Articles

    Two boys came into local authority care and were freed for adoption. The boys were moved between foster placements for 11 years, becoming increasingly unsettled. This breached several of their rights and local authorities had to re-examine their care systems.

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      Children
      1989
      Europe

      Care leavers can access their child care records

      Related European Convention Articles

      A care leaver wanted access to care records to establish whether he had grounds to complain of ill-treatment whilst in care. He was not permitted to see the entire file. This breached his right to respect for private life.

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        Children
        2006
        UK

        Young people can get confidential sexual health advice

        Related European Convention Articles

        A mother challenged guidelines allowing doctors to give sexual health advice and treatment to under 16s without telling their parents. In this case, young people's right to private life overrode the parents' rights.

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        Children
        1987
        Europe

        Denying parents access to their children must be reviewable

        Related European Convention Articles

        Parents of children in care were denied access to their children. The parents were not informed of nor invited to the conference at which this decision was made. The judges said the authority's decision to terminate access must be reviewable by a tribunal.

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          Children
          2003
          Europe

          Four children were protected from their mum’s partner

          Related European Convention Articles

          Children were sexually and physically abused by their mother's partner. Social services failed to discover the problem and prevent abuse. A judge decided they had been treated inhumanely and their right to private/family life was breached. They were entitled to compensation.

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            Children
            1994
            Europe

            Children can’t be put up for adoption without parents knowing

            Related European Convention Articles

            Laws which allowed a child to be put up for adoption without her biological father's knowledge or consent breached his right to respect for private and family life, and meant he had been deprived of a fair hearing.

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            Children
            2001
            UK

            Families who foster children should be paid the same as other carers

            Related European Convention Articles

            A family who were fostering children within the family successfully challenged the council policy to pay them less than non-family foster carers.

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            Children
            2001
            Europe

            Birth parents must be involved in childcare decisions

            Related European Convention Articles

            A four-year-old girl was taken into care and placed for adoption following allegations of abuse. Her mother was not consulted on the care plan and succeeded in her claim that this breached her right to a family life.

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              Children
              1995
              Europe

              Parents can access info related to their child’s case

              Related European Convention Articles

              Parents of a child taken into care were not allowed to see documents referred to at a hearing to determine care provisions and access to their son. This breached their rights to a fair hearing and respect for family life.

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                Children
                1987
                Europe

                Birth parents have the right to challenge childcare decisions

                Related European Convention Articles

                A mother complained that she was not given the chance to object to her children being taken into care. She won her case.

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                  Children
                  2009
                  UK

                  Children aren’t subjected to unreasonable curfews

                  Related European Convention Articles

                  A 16 year old boy was not allowed out after 9pm in designated areas. He was not engaging in anti-social behaviour. He challenged the curfew. He succeeded.

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                  TOP 50
                  50 Cases
                  2013
                  UK

                  Trafficked children are victims, not criminals

                  Related European Convention Articles

                  Victims of trafficking were forced into illegal work. A young boy was forced to cultivate cannabis, and a woman promised child-minding work was forced into prostitution. Their history of trafficking should have been taken into account.

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                  TOP 50
                  50 Cases
                  1978
                  Europe

                  Caning a child is wrong

                  Related European Convention Articles

                  A boy was sentenced to be caned for assaulting another child. He had to remove his trousers and underpants then was held down and caned by policemen. This was found to be degrading punishment. The court famously said the European Convention on Human Rights was a "living instrument".

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                    TOP 50
                    50 Cases
                    2001
                    Europe

                    Local authorities can be liable for child abuse if they failed to act

                    Related European Convention Articles

                    Four children were seriously ill-treated by their parents. The authorities were aware of this and failed to take action. The children's rights to freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment had been breached and they were entitled to compensation.

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                      TOP 50
                      50 Cases
                      2011
                      UK

                      Children’s views are key in deportation cases

                      Related European Convention Articles

                      The Supreme Court decided that where a parent is deported, the rights of their children must be a primary consideration An asylum-seeker mother was allowed to remain in the UK because deporting her would breach her children's rights to respect for private and family life.

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                      TOP 50
                      50 Cases
                      1998
                      Europe

                      You can’t beat up your child

                      Related European Convention Articles

                      A stepfather beat his stepson with a cane, causing him bruising. His defence was that "reasonable chastisement" was necessary to control the boy. The court said this was inhumane and degrading treatment.

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                        Children
                        2010
                        UK

                        Children can access a summary of secret evidence about them

                        Related European Convention Articles

                        The police arrested a child spotted with an 'inappropriate adult'. They would not tell the child or parents more. Access to secret evidence was needed to enforce rights to liberty and privacy. A court provided the gist of the information.

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                        Children
                        2012
                        UK

                        A child’s surgery happened despite mum’s objection

                        Related European Convention Articles

                        A child was prescribed chemo- and radiotherapy after brain surgery. His mother refused to consent to the treatment. A court decided that the treatment was in the child's best interests and ordered it to go ahead.

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                        Children
                        1982
                        Europe

                        Corporal punishment in schools is not permitted

                        Related European Convention Articles

                        Two mothers challenged school policy permitting corporal punishment. One boy was suspended from school for refusing to accept the punishment. The policy breached the mothers' rights to educate their children according to their convictions and the child's right to access education.

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                          TOP 50
                          Children
                          1994
                          Europe

                          Unmarried parents can be a family

                          Related European Convention Articles

                          The father in an unmarried couple challenged the Dutch government's refusal to recognise him as the legal father of the couple's child, unless his partner's husband denied paternity. He won his case.

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                            What Human Rights do for Children
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