Family law, and the systems with which families interact, and child law or children’s rights, are typically viewed as separate legal subjects or categories. This essay challenges that separation and its consequences for family issues, arguing that family law and the systems with which families interact would benefit from a stronger infusion of children’s perspectives, interests and rights. One benefit would be a stronger structural or systemic focus to family law, reflecting the responsibilities of the State for children in the form of positive socio-economic supports for systems of health, education, housing and employment that are critical to children’s development. Through the example of immigrant children and their families, the essay explores the potential structural impact of children’s rights and perspectives in order to illustrate how a child rights perspective would affect the content and implementation of law and policy.
Nancy E. Dowd, Expanding the Framework of Family Issues: Bringing Children’s Rights and Children’s Perspectives into Immigration, 7 Oslo L. Rev. 6 (2020)