The Langeac Declaration

Interview in In search of fatherhood



The Langeac Declaration. It was the shot heard around the world. The fifteen individuals who gathered in Langeac, a small town located in the South of France in June 1999, could only hope for the dynamic and far-reaching impact that their collaborative efforts --which resulted in the creation of the Langeac Declaration --would have on position statements on family rights throughout our global village.

"The Langeac Declaration has continued to prove its relevance ever since its conception in June 1999. Its strength is demonstrated by the unabated influence it is having in countries ranging from mine -Holland -to Brazil, Argentina and New Zealand. The url can be used to access the declaration, which can now be signed online and can also be found in six different languages," explained Mr. Joep Zander, wbo is one ofthe originators and signers of the Langeac Declaration. He is also an advisory member of Dutch Parents Platfonn. "I have spoken about the Declaration in a meeting of the North- Shore Men's Centre in New Zealand. It bas been discussed in conferences and meetings in Chile, Germany, Ireland, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. In Holland we recently organised a conference on Langeac which was attended by parent support groups, professionals and social scientists."

"The Declaration has since played a part in negotiations with the Dutch Child Protection Service and the Dutch Government. The ideas within it are normal1y given a friendly reception, even when they have yet to find legal expression. I myself have written some articles in official Dutch Justice Department journals, which can be viewed on the Internet at in which I compare the Declaration with developments in New Zealand (M., the recent Shared Parenting Bill). All major developments and discussions in the countries currently in the vanguard of family law reform are in line with the Declaration. Not that the participants are all aware of its existence, but this makes the point, if anything, more valid. The Declaration is quite logical. It not only describes a widely held set of aspirations, but also has some predictive value. The Langeac Declaration was conceived as a discussion document, one large step along the road towards a basic set of statutes, capable of achieving international consensus, across genders and belief systems, on the human rights of families and the acceptable limits of official intercession in family matters," Zander stated.

Is the Langeac Declaration a document that can withstand the test of time? Mr. Zander believes so."I think the basic tenets of the Declaration will stand the test of time. We have to give a broader public, internationally, the opportunity to debate these possibilities in some form of congress or conference. This concept was already envisaged at the inception of the Declaration, which is ideally suited as a jumping off point, being internationally conceived, multi-language, non-partisan, succinct, but relatively comprehensive. I think we should place the emphasis on strategy - how to explore the issues and how to implement the results. I must add that the Langeac Declaration is not a finished document. It is open to criticism and refinement and we would be grateful for any criticisms or proposals that anyone wishes to add or reservations anyone wishes to make in signing the document,"

And who has signed on to the Langeac Declaration?

Those who attended the Langeac Summer School and collaborated in the drafting of the Langeac Declaration include Antonio Diaz Piiieiro of Asociación Galega de Pais e Nais Separados (" AGPNS") in Galicia, Spain; Frank McGlynn and Mary T. Cleary of AMEN -a confidential advice line for men in violent relationships in Ireland; George Brito of the Corporación de Padres in Chile; Gerhard Hanenkamp in Germany; Ipe Smith of the Dutch Parents Platform in Holland; Joep Zander (httP:// also of the Dutch Parents Platform and writer on fatherbood issues) ; Julian Fitzgerald of in the United Kingdom (Langeac initiator and summer school coordinator); Liam 0. Gogain, Peter Farrell and Sam Carroll, all of Parental Equality in Ireland; Vannick Grezes ofthe Fédération des Mouvements de la Condition Patemelle ("FMCP") and kind host of the Summer School in France.

full text of the Langeac Declaration. overige informatie over de verklaring van Langeac; on the declaration of Langeac
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