Human rights tend to focus on the relationship between individual and state: the individual is rights-holder, the state is duty-holder. Children’s rights bring a third player much more in the picture, namely parents. Although legally speaking they are not duty-holders under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, they do have a number of responsibilities under the CRC and other human rights instruments. States may have obligations to turn these parental responsibilities into national legal duties if that is needed to improve the legal and social position of children.
Child rearing may still be considered by many to be within the private domain, i.e. a matter of concern only within the relationship between children and their parents, with the exception of instances of child abuse or neglect.
In this volume, child-rearing responsibilities are examined in the light of children’s rights and (other) human rights. All contributions focus in particular on the proposal to introduce an upbringing (or parenting) pledge. The upbringing pledge contains not only a statement of lasting commitment towards the child, but also an explicit declaration of commitment to respect and promote the rights of the child both as a person and as a human being who is utterly dependent upon his or her parents for his or her wellbeing and the development of his or her personality. By means of the upbringing pledge as a child rights based social institution, the responsibilities of society and the state towards both parents and children are re-affirmed as well.
WHAT MAY PARENTS BE ASKED TO PLEDGE? The Convention on the Rights of the Child as a Source of Parental Duties and Responsibilities (p. 17)Jan C.M. Willems
CHILDREN’S RIGHTS, PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES AND STATE OBLIGATIONS: A COUNCIL OF EUROPE PERSPECTIVE (p. 37)Wouter Vandenhole
FROM PARENT TO GROUP PARENT - Parenthood (and Upbringing Pledge) in the Virtual Environment (p. 75)
THE UPBRINGING PLEDGE AND THE FLOURISHING OF CHILDREN AND PARENTS (p. 87)
The Maastricht Series in Human Rights facilitates and supports research in the field of human rights at the Maastricht Centre for Human Rights of Maastricht University’s Faculty of Law. The research is interdisciplinary, with a focus on public international law, criminal law and social sciences.
Volume in the series have been peer reviewed under the responsibility of the Board of the Centre. The Series is published under the editorial supervision of Professor Menno Kamminga and Professor Fons Coomans.
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