European Journal of Law Reform

Article

Child Participation in Family Law Matters Affecting Children in South Africa

Keywords child participation, family law, legal representation, Family Advocate, curator ad litem
Authors LLE, LLM Kelly-Anne Cleophas en Usang Maria Assim
Author's information

242134 LLE, LLM Kelly-Anne Cleophas
Kelly-Anne Cleophas: LLB (UWC), LLM (Missouri), LLM cum laude (UWC).

242136 Usang Maria Assim
Usang Maria Assim is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Community Law Centre, University of the Western Cape (UWC), South Africa.
  • Abstract

      The right of children to participate in all matters affecting them is considered to be one of the fundamental principles guiding the understanding, interpretation, and application of all children’s rights. In terms of international law, this right is contained in Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Similar provisions are contained in the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. Child participation establishes the right of every child to freely express his or her views, in all matters affecting him or her, as well as the ‘subsequent right’ for those views to be given due weight, in line with the age and maturity of the child involved. The right of the child to be heard, as expressed in the Convention on the Rights of the Child represents a shift in perspectives from children as ‘incomplete human beings’ to children as subjects of rights and not merely objects of legal protection. This article provides an overview of the manner in which the principle of child participation is incorporated in some family law matters affecting children in South Africa.

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