Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child recognises that children have a right to be heard. The application of this right has been broadly conceptualised as ‘participation’, although the term itself does not appear in the Convention. Of course, children have always participated in many ways within societies – for example, at the community level, through play and the arts, and in their economic contribution to their families. In the context of Article 12, however, the term ‘participation’ has evolved, and is now very widely used, as a shorthand to describe children’s right to involvement in decisions and actions that affect them and to have those views taken into account.
Children’s right to be heard and to be taken seriously is a crucial and also visionary provision of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Children can no longer be perceived as passive recipients of care and protection, or accidental beneficiaries of policy decisions; they cannot be envisaged as not yet persons or adults in the making. Attention must be paid to their inner feelings, thoughts and views.
Photo: Asad Zaidi/Save the Children
Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child provides: “1. States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the chilPublication year: 2009 Publisher(s): UNCRC, United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child
RecommendedEvery Child's Right to be Heard. A Resource Guide on the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child General Comment No 12
Every child’s right to express their views and have them taken seriously is enshrined in Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. However, despite many positive examples – some of which are referred to in this guide – most children are
RecommendedChildren's participation in the analysis, planning and design of programmes. A guide for Save the Children staff
This guide has been developed to support managers and field staff in applying meaningful and safe participation in the analysis, planning and design phases of programming. It includes practical guidance and tools to support staff to build their capacity a
RecommendedPractice Standards in Children's Participation
The what, why, and how of each of Save the Children's child participation practice standards. The primary purpose of these practice standards is to ensure consistent high quality child participation practice throughout Save the Children’s programmes. TheyPublication year: 2005 Publisher(s): Save the Children International
RecommendedPushing the Boundaries: A guide to increasing the realisation of children’s civil rights and freedoms
This guide has been developed to support Child Rights Governance (CRG) staff to develop programme work to strengthen the civil rights and freedoms of children within their broader CRG programme strategy. It expands upon Save the Children’s overarching CRG
RecommendedIt's all about children: Seven good examples and ten steps to meaningful children's participation in reporting to the Committee on the Rights of the Child
Good governance is essential for children’s well-being. It is about a government being responsible to its citizens in terms of delivering services, being open and transparent about decision-making processes, making information accessible and having establPublication year: 2011 Publisher(s): Save the Children
RecommendedA Toolkit for Monitoring and Evaluating Children’s participation: Introduction. Booklet 1
This is the first booklet in a toolkit comprised of 6 booklets. The toolkit provides a conceptual framework for measuring children’s participation, together with guidance on how to undertake monitoring and evaluation and practical tools that can help you
RecommendedA Toolkit for Monitoring and Evaluating Children's Participation: Measuring the creation of a participatory and respectful environment for children. Booklet 2
This is the second booklet in a toolkit comprised of 6 booklets. The toolkit provides a conceptual framework for measuring children’s participation, together with guidance on how to undertake monitoring and evaluation and practical tools that can help you
RecommendedA Toolkit for monitoring and evaluating children's participation: How to measure the scope, quality and outcomes of children's participation. Booklet 3
This booklet describes why it is important to measure the scope, quality and outcomes of participation. The scope of participation involves looking at when children get involved (the point of engagement), what level they get involved at (level of engageme
RecommendedA Toolkit for monitoring and evaluating children's participation: A 10-step guide to monitoring and evaluating children's participation. Booklet 4
This booklet provides a 10-step guide to help you undertake a participatory monitoring and evaluation (M&E) process, with children and other key stakeholders. It supports planning for and practical implementation of Booklet 3 How to measure the scope, qua