The best interests of the child principle is now a linchpin of children’s rights law, recognized as one of the principles guiding the realization and implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Nevertheless the best interest of the child has no universal definition or description. The CRC’s general provision on the best interest of the child in Article 3(1) states that in all actions concerning …..the best interest of the child shall be a primary consideration. This principle gives an obligation to, and allow for due weight to be given to the views of children capable of communicating their views in all proceedings affecting children and shouldn’t there be an evaluation of possible impacts on children as an integral part of the decision making process with an explicit assessment of how and why the final decision is respectful of the child or children’s best interest (including those in vulnerable situations)? Understandably, with respect to economic and labour rights of children, the best interest’s principle faces the challenge of balancing competing interest. The need to balance protection and autonomy is apparent in the tension between the movement to abolish child labour and the rights claim of working children, and the protection of children from economic exploitation often made in children’s best interest. The question of whether children have economic and labour rights, and what practical meaning they have, is in fact not easy to answer, and a possible answer depends on what is meant by such rights.




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