The European Convention on Human Rights is one of the most influential human rights documents in existence, in terms of its scope, impact, and jurisdiction. Yet it was not drafted with children, let alone children's rights, in mind. Nevertheless, the European Court of Human Rights has developed a large body of jurisprudence regarding children, ranging from areas such as juvenile justice and immigration, to education and religion, and the protection of physical integrity. Its influence in the sphere of family law has been profound, in particular in the attribution of parenthood, and in cases concerning child abduction, child protection, and adoption.
This book provides a comprehensive and detailed overview of the jurisprudence of the Court as it relates to children, highlighting its many achievements in this field, while also critiquing its ongoing weaknesses. In doing so, it tracks the evolution of the Court's treatment of children's rights, from its inauspicious and paternalistic beginnings to an emerging recognition of children's individual agency.