The Belgian authorities, in cooperation with the Children’s Rights Division of the Council of Europe are hosting a conference in Brussels on 9-10th December to look at the notion of ‘the best interests of the child.”  

The Conference, which will examine this concept in theory and practice, will be hosted by the Belgian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in conjunction with “the promotion and realisation of human rights”.

The event also falls on the 25th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The conference will be focusing on three objectives:

  • to take stock of the understanding and application of the child’s best interests in the international context as well as in the various national contexts
  • to identify factors that hinder and those that drive as observed by the decision makers in the application of the child’s best interests and to outline solutions
  • to find and develop ethical, procedural and practical standards which support the practitioners and policy makers when they take into consideration the child’s best interests.

The first day of the Conference will look at the child’s best interests in general and the second day will examine the child’s best interests in family affairs.

This is an interesting conference, not least of all because findings and lessons learned from the conference will be submitted to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, and so the Belgian hosts are asking that all those involved in this field come and share their point of view.

This event is first and foremost about strengthening children’s rights, and we like this, very much.

Many thanks to Maggie Tuttle for sharing the details of this conference with us.