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Participation of Children in a Rally against the Family Code

15.06.2011 13:09
Category: work and news


The Slovenian Human Rights Ombudsman (HRO) was asked to comment on the participation of children in a public rally against the adoption of the Family Code.
The HRO points out that the participation of children in the rally was decided on by their parents, who should be the first to protect their interests. The HRO cannot comment on their reasons for bringing the children to the rally, but can nevertheless express her view, according to which the participation of very young children in this kind of gatherings is inappropriate if they are not capable of understanding their meaning. In fact, the children participated in a rally directed against a regulation which in the HRO's view would substantially improve their situation.

In this context, the HRO wishes to reiterate her opinion, already made public previously, that children (under the Convention on the Rights of Children, children are all young people under 18 years of age) have the right to freedom of opinion, specifically guaranteed by Article 12 and Article 13 of the Convention. Therefore, the circumstance that children express their opinion in relation to "political" issues can in principle not be disputed, as long as they express their actual free will, which should be assessed according to their age and maturity. The HRO takes the view that the questions put to children in connection with politicians and political issues should not be absolutely prohibited. However, their admissibility and appropriateness should in each case be separately assessed in terms of their contents and within the context of the circumstances of a particular case. 


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