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Children as True Legal Persons

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Chapter Summary

According to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Article 19 of the American Convention of Human Rights should be interpreted to address the needs of the child as a true legal person, and not just as an object of protection. This chapter examines two issues concerning the right of the child in two main areas: in respect of the duties that the family, society and the State have towards children, and in respect of the rights of due process and guarantees that children have in judicial or administrative proceedings involving them. It then goes on to provide a discussion on the principles concerning the right to liberty of children under scrutiny. The contentious Bulacio case of Argentina and the Instituto del Menor Panchito López case of Paraguay are separately analyzed.

Keywords: American Convention on Human Rights; Bulacio case; children's rights; Instituto del Menor Panchito López case; Inter-American Court of Human Rights; true legal person



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