The Developmental Damage to Children as a Result of the Violation of their Rights.

by Martine F. Delfos chapter in the book:

Developmental and Autonomy Rights of Children.
Empowering Children, Caregivers and Communities.

Editor: Jan C.M. Willems

Pubisher: Intersentia, Antwerp-Oxford

2002, 2e druk 2007.


The Developmental Damage to Children as a Result of the Violation of their Rights is a chapter in a book on developmental autonomy rights of children. The authors participated in the Project Group on the Rights of the Child of the Maastricht Centre for Human Rights.

Abstract: Developmental damage has pervasive, long-lasting, life-long consequences. A child who has been damaged in his or her development, will have to bear the consequences throughout life. During each phase of his or her life these consequences will be felt and will have to be dealt with. As adults we often make the mistake that a child who does not talk about his or her problems, does not have any. We assume that, if a child can laugh and play, he or she was not too badly hurt inside. The true voice of the child is seldom heard. At the core of the system of care, though, is the child. Since the Convention of the Rights of the Child, the challenge is how to transform that core into a living, beating heart. We need to find a way to have children voice their pain and participate in the process of decision making about their future. Communication with children, however, proves to be very difficult. It demands not only special techniques but especially a change of attitude. The most powerful weapon in empowering the child is adult modesty. In order to really offer the child the help he or she deserves, in addition a juridical distinction must be made between perpetrator and victim.

I Empowering Children, Caregivers and Communities: Towards a Universal Model.
1 Theo van Boven. Children' Rights are Human Rights; Currrents Issues and Developments
2 Eva Brems. Children's Rights and Universality
3 Martine F. Delfos. The Developmental Damage to Children as a Result of the Violation of their Rights.
4 Jan. C.M. Willems. The Children's Law of Nations: The International Rights of the Child in the Trias Pedagogica.
II Promoting Developmental and Autonomy Rights: Case and Country Studies
5 Caroline Forder. Seven steps to Achieving Full Participation of Children in the Divorce Process.
6 Catelijne Leenen. Children's Rights and the Dutch Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide (Review Procedures) Act.
7 Jacqueline Schoonheim. The Right to Education in the light of Disability.
8 Ria Wolleswinkel. Children of imprisoned Parents.
9 Maria El Jerrari. Child Mariages and Islam in India, Morocco, Pakistan and Egypt.
10 Fons Coomans. Discrimination and Stigmatisation regarding Education: The Case of the Romani Children in the Czech Republic.
11 Michaela Bertani. The Promotion and Protection of Children's Rights in Post-Conflict Situations: The case of the Ombudsman of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
12 Gred Grünfeld. Child Soldiers.
13 Koen de Feyter. Moya and the Sunflower School.

The full text of the published chapter can be downloaded here.