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Family and parenting

Right to family

A child has the right to live with his/her family. Sometimes this isn’t possible because you or your parents are having a difficult time. Perhaps because of all the stress about the residence permit or about life in an asylum seekers centre. There is a different way of life in the Netherlands. Maybe things aren’t working anymore, your parents can’t raise you properly for a while. You then have the right to help. This is laid down in laws. Read more. UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

The most important international law for children is the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child This includes many important rights about family and parenting:

Article 5: your parents have to raise you but sometimes the government has to help Your parents are the ones that have to raise you. They have to ensure that get enough to eat, go to bed on time and stay healthy. If your parents can’t do this, for instance because they don’t have enough money or too many problems of their own, then the government has to help your parents. Article 7: you have the right to a name and nationality Immediately after you are born your parents have to register you with the local authority. They also get proof of your birth here. This is called birth certificate. Your parents must also give you a name. This is all written in article 7. It also states that you have the right to a nationality. Article 8: you may always be yourself You are moving to another country. The people are different here and so are the customs. You may always keep your own culture and customs. This is written in article 8 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Article 9 and article 10: Being raised by both parents All children have the right to be raised by both parents. This can be hard. For instance if one of your  parents doesn’t live here but lives abroad. Or if your parents are divorced. They then have to do their best to ensure that you don’t suffer too much from this. Article 12: right to say what you think about something Sometimes a decision is made about you. You always have the right to say what you think about this. This is called freedom of speech. Article 14: right to your own faith You usually take on the faith of your parents. If you don’t want this, you have the right not to as you have the right to choose your own faith. Article 19: right of protection against child abuse No one is allowed to abuse you. Abuse can be that you are hit at home or at school. But this can also be that someone is always calling you names or is saying nasty things about you. This is all prohibited. Article 26: right to extra money In the Netherlands you sometimes get extra money if you have too little. For instance, people who can no longer work get unemployment benefit. Every month they get an amount from the government with which they can pay rent and food. Parents in the Netherlands get money from the government for their children. With this money they can buy clothes and food for their children. This is called child benefit. Article 27: right to an adequate standard of living You have the right to grow up in a way that is good for you. Your house, for instance, must be clean and healthy. You need to get enough food and drink and you have the right to warm clothing. If your parents can’t arrange this then the government has to help. 
Laws in Europe
There is an important European regulation for asylum seekers. These are arrangements that have been made with these countries. This includes rights about family and parenting. The most important rights are:
  • Families must stay together when then live in the Netherlands. The government must try to ensure this.
  • Children should live with their parents.
  • The place where asylum seekers live must be decent and healthy and all asylum seekers must get enough to eat and drink.
This is written in article 8, article 14 paragraph 3 and article 13 of European directive 2003/9/EC. This directive lays down the minimum standards for accommodation of asylum seekers.
Dutch laws
There are many Dutch laws. These include arrangements on family and parenting. The most important law about family and parenting is the Youth Act. These are rules if your parents can’t raise you properly. Your parents have to raise you, but this is sometimes not possible. They may have too many problems of their own, or they have different rules than the Dutch ones.  Your parents might neglect you. It’s then possible that you, for instance, get very little food or no one tells you when you have to go to bed so you play in the street until very late. It’s also possible that your parents abuse you. For instance by hitting you or calling you names. In the Netherlands no violence is allowed when raising a child. This is prohibited. Parents may for instance not hit their child if it doesn’t listen.

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