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Open Access The Best Interests of the Child in Cases of Migration

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The Best Interests of the Child in Cases of Migration

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Assessing and Determining the Best Interests of the Child in Migration Procedures

The best interests of the child principle has a legal base in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. In 2013, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child published guidelines on the implementation of the best interests of the child in General Comment No. 14. Together with the Best Interest of the Child Method, which is developed by Zijlstra et al. (2012), this framework offers a valuable tool for decision-making processes concerning children, in particular, in this review’s context, in migration procedures. In the assessment of the best interests of children who are forcibly migrated, special attention has to be given to risk factors associated with the different phases in the migration process that may harm their mental health, well-being and development. This requires knowledge based on academic studies and the involvement of professionals who have knowledge of children’s mental health and development.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Special Needs Education and Youth Care, University of 
Groningen, The Netherlands, m.e.kalverboer@rug.nl ; 2: Study Centre for Children, Migration and Law, Department of Special Needs Education and Youth Care, University of Groningen, The Netherlands, d.beltman@rug.nl ; 3: Study Centre for Children, Migration and Law, Department of Special Needs Education and Youth Care, University of Groningen, The Netherlands, e.c.c.van.os@rug.nl ; 4: Study Centre for Children, Migration and Law, Department of Special Needs Education and Youth Care, University of Groningen, The Netherlands, a.e.zijlstra@rug.nl

10.1163/15718182-02501005
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The best interests of the child principle has a legal base in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. In 2013, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child published guidelines on the implementation of the best interests of the child in General Comment No. 14. Together with the Best Interest of the Child Method, which is developed by Zijlstra et al. (2012), this framework offers a valuable tool for decision-making processes concerning children, in particular, in this review’s context, in migration procedures. In the assessment of the best interests of children who are forcibly migrated, special attention has to be given to risk factors associated with the different phases in the migration process that may harm their mental health, well-being and development. This requires knowledge based on academic studies and the involvement of professionals who have knowledge of children’s mental health and development.

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