Healthcare professionals in the Netherlands often lose sight of the best interests of the child when making far-reaching decisions about children. As a result, many children get stuck between ships and ships, or become a plaything that is sent from the box to the wall. Children's Ombudsman Margrite Kalverboer states this in a report she presents on Tuesday on the anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Very often decisions are made on the basis of financial or practical arguments, and not on the basis of what would be best for the child.
"Although everyone wants the best for children, it is sometimes difficult for professionals to think from the child when making important decisions," says Kalverboer. "They have to deal with rules, financial constraints and pressure from the organization and the outside world. The key question in all decisions must be: what does this child need and how are we going to realize that?"
Kalverboer will present a four-step plan for professionals on Tuesday in order not to lose sight of these priorities.
"In my work I come across an incredible number of children who are just being relocated, or who have been promised things that will not be followed," said Kalverboer in an interview in the NOS Radio 1 Journal. "The basis is simple: use the Convention on the Rights of the Child as a compass in youth care. First determine what is best for the child. All other questions, about payment or who bears the responsibility, then come."
"Children are happy here, as long as they are not unlucky"
A report from the Healthcare and Youth Inspectorate (IGJ) found in early October that the government does not take sufficient responsibility to protect and help neglected and abused children. They usually have to wait eight months for help if they ask.
UNICEF professor of children's rights Ton Liefaard also notes Tuesday in the Volkskrant that the Netherlands does not take its responsibility when it comes to children's rights. Children are happy as long as they are not unlucky, he says. "If you need care in the Netherlands, or you were not born here, or you cannot simply participate because of the social position of your family, then the Netherlands is not at all so beautiful for you. Then it is over or under."
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