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Council of Europe conventions
• Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1950): the Convention makes no specific mention of children rights, but it provides for states to secure the rights and freedoms it defines for everyone. Human rights are therefore not for adults only and children are entitled to them as full rights holders.
• European Convention on the Adoption of Children (revised) (2008). Children have a say in adoption. The child’s consent is required if he or she has sufficient understanding of the adoption process. It is up to national law to fix the age at which a child must give his or her consent to the adoption process; however, consent must always be obtained from children who are 14 or older. If consent is not necessary, the child should be consulted in so far as this is possible and his or her views and wishes taken into account.
• Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (2007). The protection of children, respect for children’s rights, responding to their views, needs and concerns are at the heart of this convention. It sets up child-friendly investigative and judicial procedures where child victims are well protected, care is taken not to aggravate the initial trauma, interviews are limited, and all measures are adapted to children, respecting their rights and those of their families. Article 9 requires states to encourage the participation of children, according to their evolving capacity, in developing and implementing state policies and other initiatives in the fight against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children.
• European Convention on the Exercise of Children’s Rights (1996). This convention protects children’s rights and best interests in family proceedings dealing with such matters as custody, residence, access, parentage and legal guardianship. It provides for procedural measures that allow children to exercise their rights, and includes the obligation to provide them with the relevant information to do so.• Committee of Ministers recommendations
• Parliamentary Assembly recommendations
• Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe recommendations