This conceptual article examines the role and limitations of the best interests standard in international and domestic policy, with a particular focus on how the standard is implicated in the treatment of unaccompanied minors in the United States. Motivated by emergent interdisciplinary scholarship on global youth and informed by a comparative consideration of best interests across other professions, we propose a new model of best interests. This model calls for a multidimensional recognition of youths’ family-, community- and decision-making contexts; acknowledgment of youths’ rights; and a commitment to speaking with, rather than for, young people. What results is a novel and dynamic understanding of best interests with relevance to scholars, practitioners, and policymakers.
Statz, M., & Heidbrink, L. (2019). A Better “Best Interests”: Immigration Policy in a Comparative Context. Law and Policy, 41(4), 365–386. https://doi.org/10.1111/lapo.12135