General Children's Participation Criteria: Sectoral guidelines and instruments for ensuring children's meaningful participation

Participation is among the fundamental principles envisaged by the Convention on the Rights of the Child under Article 12, clearly setting forth that children enjoy the right to participate in decision-making processes affecting their life. This article acknowledges children’s rights to influence decisions related to their family, school, community and any other issue impacting their life directly. The principle recognizes children’s capability to significantly participate in decision-making processes and to give their own opinions and suggestions on issues related to their lives, in line with their age and maturity.

As such, child participation enriches democratic processes and guarantees the upbringing and moulding of future conscious generations actively involved in the lives of their communities.

The aim of this publication is to encourage and facilitate children and youth’s participation in consultation and decision-making processes at all levels. It is based on the UN Convention basic criteria, as well as on the General Comment No. 12 on Meaningful Child Participation and provides guidance to adults in promoting and realizing children’s right to participation and children’s overall rights, as part of child activities, projects, programs, policies, or services, by introducing them with the main participation principles along with a measurement indicators menu for each.

Published 2019-10-08