Article 9 of the UNCRC says that a child or young person shouldn’t be separated from their parents unless:
- staying with their parents could be harmful to them; or
- it’s impossible for them to stay with their parents.
A child or young person may be separated from a parent in a way that respects Article 9 if:
- that parent isn’t able to take care of them,
- that parent is acting in a way that’s not in that child or young person’s best interests, or
- that parent is unable to keep that child safe and happy.
Knowing both parents
Children and young people have the right to keep in contact with their parents. If the State is responsible for them being separated from a parent – as would be the case if that parent were in prison or deported – then it should be able to tell them where that parent is.
Children and young people who have lost contact with their parents should be able to be reunited with their families if they wish.