Access to Education and Other Children’s Rights

When moving from one country to another for job reasons, one of the issues expat parents have to deal with is choosing the right school for their child(ren) – in terms of creating the best conditions for obtaining the diplomas necessary for facing the global future. After all, the kids of today often already consider the world to be theirs.

Options can also entail complications, however – for instance, when the emotional well-being of the children in the new country threatens to become compromised. This is likely to happen when (expat) parents expect their children to be cognitively able to cope with all the demands of school, as well as extra‑curricular language lessons and/or religious education so as not to lose touch with their culture of origin. Something that is made possible by the large offer of education in the Netherlands.

As a lawyer and mediator specialized in family law, with an international practice, I have often seen parents in a divorce situation who have different nationalities and backgrounds or religions, thus giving rise to a situation in which the children are ‘caught in the middle’.

At the very least for the sake of the children, a high-conflict divorce should be avoided, as this can cause severe trauma. A situation I always try to prevent by asking the divorcing spouses right from the beginning to think as parents, instead of ex-partners, and to consider their children’s rights as well. 

Edith van Ruitenbeek
2019 Spring

← Back