What is child law?
Child law can be described as the sum of all the law that in any way handles or regulates children’s life situations, including children’s rights as expressed in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Child law has a distinct interdisciplinary character and lies at the interstices of public and private law. Child law addresses issues concerning, e.g., a child’s legal status within the family, a child’s relationship with parents or guardians, and also involves the responsibility and authority for the state to act for the protection of children and how legal proceedings should be adapted to better fit the needs of children. Child law also has clear and inevitable links to international law – both as children move across borders, but also because of the different international conventions regulating children’s rights.
Child law research is multi-disciplinary and includes everything from a psychological perspective on how to talk to children and child development, to the impact of welfare interventions, and, for example, how environmental aspects affect children specifically. Child law is thus not fixed but consists of a moving and multi-disciplinary research field, constantly open to the research perspectives that society generates.