2.12 Summary

  1. In all actions concerning a child or children, the best interests of the child is a primary consideration, meaning that it has added weight when weighing the interests of the child against other interests.
  2. Four different aspects can be actively considered to help you to assess what is in a child’s best interests:
    • implementing all children’s rights
    • taking account of the views of the child
    • balancing different rights
    • looking at the short- and long-term interests of the child.
    It is also important to take into account the best interests of others – other children, family members or the wider community.
  3. Children have a right to experience their lives free from discrimination on any grounds.
  4. There are two main types of discrimination. Direct discrimination arises from active, direct or deliberate action, and indirect discrimination arises from indifference to the needs of particular groups in society.
  5. In applying the principle of non-discrimination, it is essential to go beyond an approach that simply aims to avoid direct discrimination. Consideration can be given to ensuring the most vulnerable children in the community have access to services and that specific services are set up to meet the needs of particular groups of children.

2.11 Applying the principle of non-discrimination in health care

2.13 Self-assessment questions