Municipal Defenders of Children and Adolescents: conciliatory instances
Municipal Child Defenders (MCDA) fulfill a role as conciliatory instances. They attempt to avoid legal problems leading to court cases. By achieving mutual agreement between the parties involved, they can provide a solution to problems.
What is conciliation?
Conciliation requires a manifestation of free will and consent. For this to occur the following is necessary:
· That the cases to be treated by law have a juridical foundation and are recognized by the legal order in force in the country.
· That the result of conciliation be licit. When the law has been broken a process of conciliation cannot be carried out.
· That conciliation emphasizes the higher interest of children and adolescents. This implies that every decision should benefit them in the present as well as in the future.
Conciliation can be applied in cases of:
· Family assistence: when one of the parents is not fulfilling his responsibility to provide resources for the education, lodging, clothing or health care of their children. In such as case the Defenders Office must achieve agreement by both sides.
· Voluntary recognition of children: when a father does not recognize a child. The Defenders Office must act to ensure the father assumes responsibility.
· Custody of children and permission to visit: when parents separate and disagree as to where their children should live. The Defenders Office can promote an agreement between the parents. If they do not reach agreement, the case will go to law.
· Negligence, omission or unfulfillment of the fundamental rights of children or adolescents.