The Best Interests of the Child: Towards a synthesis of children's rights and cultural values

Innocenti Studies

This title is ONLY available in PDF format and can be downloaded from this page.

  • Format
  • Author(s)
    • Alston, Philip;
    • Gilmour-Walsh, Bridget;
  • Publisher
    • UNICEF ICDC, Florence
  • Date of Publication
    • 1996
  • Pages
    • 50
  • ISBN
    • 88-85401-29-5
  • IRC Stock Number
    • 108U
  • Publication Cost
    • free
  • Language
    • English


This paper investigates the dilemmas that arise in applying the ‘best interests’ principle, particularly as the term is used in Article 3(1) of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, to concrete situations involving the treatment of children. The topics covered include: historical and current usages of the principle in domestic and international law; the technical meaning of the terms employed in the Convention; the problem of indeterminacy that the application of the best interests principle in a given situation will not necessarily lead to any particular outcome; how the principle relates to the overall debate over cultural relativism; the approach adopted by the Committee on the Rights of the Child.


Thematic area

Rights of the Child   / 


best interests of the child   /  children's rights   /  implementation of the crc   /