Attitude towards children has undergone a dramatic change in Europe and awareness has developed regarding the needs of children plus the special protection that is required. It also shows a concern that children are legal subjects and are holders of rights. This was the beginning when Europe decided to have a strong hand for safeguarding the rights of children.
European Convention for Children’s Rights came into force on 1 July 2000 with an aim to protect and ensure the best interests of children. It provides many procedural measures that support and allows the children to exercise their rights. An entire Standing Committee has been setup that keeps a review of the problems related to the Convention. This international treaty and its protocols will guarantee various rights and freedom for the children.
The Convention ensures various measures to promote the children rights, particularly in a family proceeding before the judicial authorities. This person or the judicial authority who is appointed to act before the judiciary, on behalf of the child, is allotted with many duties that are designed to facilitate the right of the child. Children are allowed to exercise their rights through other person or by themselves. This charter guarantees rights to the children from their birth to adulthood. There are many rights in the charter out of which some are exclusively for children and others with a specific relevance to children.
It deals with almost everything concerning children like their residence, questions of parentage, custody, legal guardianship, adoption, legitimacy, care procedures, protection from cruel treatment and medical treatment. It includes general rights to education and is required to maintain and establish an education system which will be compulsory at least until the age of admission to employment and also free of charge. The convention will make sure whether the educational system is both, effective and accessible.
The Council of Europe is designed in such a manner that it covers the entire range of rights guaranteed to children under the UN convention 1989 and also helps to coordinate and facilitate the implementations at the Europe level.