French Children Advocate

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On March 6, 2000, the Official Journal published the Act No. 2000-196 which established a Children Advocate as an independent authority in France in charge to defend and promote the rights of the children.

The Children Advocate is appointed for six years by decree of the Council of Ministers. His mandate is not renewable, and his functions cannot be ended before the expiry of that period, except in case of impediment observed by the State Council.

The Children Advocate can be requested directly and is empowered to treat cases of individual and collective violations of rights of the child.


Contents

[edit] Children Advocate

Claire Brisset was the first Child Advocate from May 4, 2000 to May 3, 2006.

In June 2006, Dominique Versini accessed this function for a term of 6 years.

[edit] Referral

  • Minor children themselves, in this case with the possibility (and not the obligation) to notify this claim the legal representative of the minor applicant;
  • The legal representatives of the minor children;
  • Associations of public benefit which defend the rights of a child.

The Children Advocate is not intended to replace the services of the social assistance to children, associations nor of the judicial system aiming the protection of children.

[edit] Purpose

  • To propose, as much as possible, a mediation process between parties in conflict;
  • To intervene when regular and normal procedures have failed, identify possible malfunctions of existing structures and to propose reforms in order to remedy the situation.

[edit] Means

  • Surveys in the field, particularly through the assistance of provincial delegates;
  • Recommendations from individuals, organizations or institutions in question: when it appears to the Children Advocate that the operating conditions of a corporation violate the rights of the child, he can propose any measure that he considers likely to remedy this situation;
  • Information provided to the judicial authority and accessible to the social system dedicated to the child;
  • Possibility to ask for the consultation of a social file pertaining to a case that the Children Advocate wishes to investigate;
  • During the international day of children's rights on November 20, the Children Advocate presents to the President of the Republic and to Parliament an annual report in which he establishes the assessment of his activity.
  • Proposals of modifications of amendments, regulations or procedures. For example, the French Children Advocate Claire Brisset has requested the recognition of a new crime (Act No. 2002-305 of March 4, 2002 relating to parental authority) enabling now to penalize the clients of prostitutes aged from 15 to 18 year old (through the articles 225-12-1 to 225-12-4 of the new Penal Code, condemning "recourse to the prostitution of a minor" by three years imprisonment and a fine of 45 000 Euros). Finally, and in order to struggle against forced marriages, the Children Advocate and the Mediator of the Republic had proposed in March 2005 to amend the Civil Code by changing the minimum legal age of marriage for girls to eighteen years old. This provision has been retained in the first article of Law No. 2006-399 of April 4, 2006, amending Article 144 of the French Civil Code, which now provides that "The man and woman cannot marry before eighteen years old".
  • Campaigns of information and promotion regarding child's rights.

[edit] Internal Links

[edit] External Links

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