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Memorandum Law - Research Paper Example

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MEMORANDUM RE: Parental Rights under International Human Rights Law DATE: QUESTION What rights do parents have under international law, and what direction is international law taking in regards to parental rights? BRIEF ANSWER Under international rights, parents have human rights which are very much protected…
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Download file to see previous pages In recent international legislation, parental rights have been reduced and restricted with the rights of children being upheld over and above parental rights. ANSWER Parents have various rights and responsibilities. The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) discusses that states must apply the principle of best interests of the child2. This principle basically sets forth that all activities involving children calls for active safeguards to be implemented in order to protect the rights of children and to ensure their survival and well-being. Under the CRC, all countries must respect the rights and duties of parents to provide direction in the protecting children’s rights3. States under the CRC must also recognize the principle that both parents have common rights in the raising of the child; and that assistance must be given to these parents in child-rearing. Working parents also have the right to benefit from child care services and facilities. In effect, countries must also ensure that parents have the right to access data on payments and services for the benefit of their children4. Parents with disability also have the right to be protected and assisted in their guardianship and adoption of children5. The CEDAW also requires states to protect the equality of men and women. In effect, both parents have the same rights and responsibilities, regardless of their marital status, in terms of rearing their children, in terms of guardianship, and in relation to adoption. Parents also have the right to not be separated from their children especially against the latter’s will, except when deemed necessary by authorities6. Parents have the right to be given equal opportunity to participate in proceedings where the custody over their children would be determined. In instances when separation would result from the actions of a country against a parent, parents have the right to be given information on the whereabouts of family members, unless this would be against the best interests of the child7. The CRDPD also protects the right of parents to marry, their rights of reproduction, to retain their fertility, to rear their children, and their right to a united family on equal footing with the community8. Parents with disabilities also have the right to be respected in and supported in their role of parents. In instances where the disabled parent is unable to care for the child, alternative means of care must be found first within the family, and if no appropriate alternative is found, another caregiver would have to be found in the community where the family is located. The current direction of international laws on the rights of parents has been towards reducing their rights and giving more power and rights to their children. The Convention for the Rights of the Child declares that children would have the right to choose their own religion and their parents can only advice them on their choice9. Another major change in the international rights of parents also involve the application of the ‘best interest of the child’ concept where a parent’s right can be negated in instances where a government worker would disagree with such a decision10. A parent’s right to make the decisions would also be subjugated in favor of the child’s right to be heard, where the child is allowed to seek a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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