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Key Words Archives: Best interests of the child

D.K.N. v. Spain, Communication No. 15/2017, 1 February 2019

This case concerns a citizen of Ghana who arrived in Spain in an irregular manner in 2016 stating that he is a minor and presenting a Ghanaian birth certificate. The Spanish authorities deemed this document to be invalid and ordered that the applicant undergo medical testing to assess his age. On the basis of the medical test results, the applicant had been found to be over 18 years old and a removal order was issued against him. The applicant maintained that during the procedure his right to be heard under Article 12 of the Convention was violated, a claim that was not found to be sufficiently substantiated by the Committee, as through objective evidence it was observed that the assessment of his age and the decision taken occurred after a lawyer was assigned to him and at the time of the forensic medical examination he was accompanied by a teacher from the child protection centre where he was housed.

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Minasian and others v. the Republic of Moldova, Application no. 26879/17

In this case the European Court of Human Rights has examined the detention of children without a legal basis when they accompany their mother in detention, the inability of children to challenge the lawfulness of their detention, the domestic courts’ failure to examine whether the children’s detention was a measure of last resort and whether detention centres areappropriate for housing families with children under Article 5 § 1, 4 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

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Communications No. 55/2018 E.B on behalf of E.H. et al. v. Belgium, 24 March 2022

The CRC Committee found that the children’s detention in closed family detention centres violated the prohibition on ill-treatment (art. 37 CRC), read alone and in conjunction with the best-interests principle (art. 3 CRC). Belgium’s failure to consider alternatives to detention, including the option of allowing the families to remain in their own homes while they pursued appeals and other judicial remedies, was an element of the finding that Belgium had not taken the children’s best interests as a primary consideration.

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