Together We Decide: Strengthening child participation in UN processes

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Save the Children International

This report demonstrates the critical role and contribution of children in UN processes and decision making. It captures the main trends, standards, practices and challenges to child participation in UN processes over the last thirty years and puts forward recommendations, informed by children’s views and good practices from civil society organisations and UN stakeholders, with the view to strengthen quality child participation in these processes. The report builds on and complements previous studies on child participation in decision making. It focuses on child participation in seven key UN bodies, including intergovernmental processes (Security Council, General Assembly, Human Rights Council, Universal Periodic Review, High Level Political Forum) and expert-led UN accountability mechanisms (Committee on the Rights of the Child, Special Procedures), whose mandate and work centres around the three pillars of the United Nations system – peace and security, development and human rights.

To inform this report’s findings and recommendations, 217 children from across nine countries were consulted to help get an insight into how children from different contexts feel about their involvement in UN processes. They articulated their views and experiences to shape a broader understanding of what they would like to see in place to enable a consistent and inclusive space for their participation at the UN. They provided 36 recommendations to achieve this. Each recommendation lies at the heart of what they value as important for their meaningful participation.

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