This library is a comprehensive collection of national and international good practice, policy, legal and academic publications, reports and resources on children and young people’s participation in decision-making.
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Digital Voices: Progressing Children’s Right to be Heard Through Social and Digital Media
Children’s right to be heard is a fundamental right expressed in Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Given the prominent role that digital technologies play in children’s lives, Digital Voices: Progressing children’s right to be heard through social and digital media asks whether social and digital media can support children’s right to be heard in public decision-making.
Children’s Participation in Decision-making: Balancing Protection with Shared Decision-making Using a Situational Perspective
Children’s participation in decision-making in the health care setting is complex because parents and health professionals tend to take a protective stance towards children to act in their best interest. Children prefer to be protected in some situations and to share decision-making in others. Adults in the health care setting need to consider children as individuals, rather than as a homogenous group, and take into account that a child’s competence and preferences will depend on the circumstances in every situation. This article argues for a situational perspective of children’s participation to act in the child’s best interest and to balance protection with shared decision-making, according to children’s rights and desires.
Children’s Participation in Decision Making From Child Welfare Workers’ Perspectives: A Systematic Review
This article explores child welfare workers’ experiences of children’s participation in decision making in the child protection system. The systematic review follows the principles of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement and includes 12 peer-reviewed articles published in academic journals from 2009 to 2019. Findings indicate that children’s participation in decision making is generally limited or nonexistent. The age of the child is an important determining factor concerning whether the child is given the opportunity to participate in decision making. Potential harm for children that may result from participation is considered when deciding on whether to include a child in the decision-making process.
Children’s Perspective on Their Right to Participate in Decision-making According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child Article 12
Aims: According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child article 12, children have a right to express their views. However, knowledge on how children with a disability perceive this right and the extent to which they would like to access this right is unclear. The aim of this study was to describe and capture the meaning of children's perspective on their right to participate in decision-making together with the children's lived experiences in pediatric rehabilitation. Methods: A phenomenological hermeneutical research design was applied for gathering the thoughts and lived experiences of seven children with different disabilities through individual interviews and observations. Results: The children expressed satisfaction with participation being limited to less important decisions. This may be understood as lack of experience with participation in decision-making or an inherent wish of becoming like peers and therefore viewing therapists as experts of a normalization process. Conclusions: Health care professionals should consider informing the child of the possibility of decision-making and for negotiating power-sharing and responsibility concerning decisions in pediatric rehabilitation.
Participatory Planning Pedagogy – A Children’s Right to the City Initiative
This paper describes a Children’s Right to the City initiative of a Canadian provincial non-profit organization. The program and its underlying Participatory Planning Pedagogy (PPP) and curriculum follow a student-led and rights-based approach that builds upon global Child Friendly Cities scholarship. The goal of the program is two-fold: First, to uphold children’s participation rights in local decision-making by ensuring that young people’s perspectives are sought out and included in community planning initiatives, and second, to provide meaningful sustainability and citizenship education through participatory planning, and real-world local problem solving that promotes social change. Working in close collaboration with planning teams of the local municipality, the program is implemented within local public elementary schools. This paper will outline the PPP curriculum’s implementation in practice, present the underlying theories informing this work, and discuss benefits, challenges, and future potential of this children’s rights initiative.
On Barriers to Accessing Children’s Voices in School Based Research
In the research conducted since the inception of the CRC, relatively little theoretically-driven psychological work has been devoted to exploring the issue of children’s rights in classrooms and schools (Urinboyev, Wickenberg, & Leo, 2016). The purpose of this paper is to take a step back and hypothesize based on personal experience, as a research psychologist, the reasons for the relative absence of theoretically-driven empirical research. The motivation for this work stems from the following premises: Psychologists are naturally interested in studying children in a variety of domains. The school is one of the two most important domains in a child’s life; the other being the home environment. However, the study of children in school settings is controlled by school administrators and teachers. As Urinboyev et al. (2016, p. 536) state “some studies [have] found that there is a strong resistance among teachers to accept fully children as rights holders in many schools… .” Consequently, there are significant challenges for researchers in accessing children’s voices about matters that pertain to them in school settings.
Children’s Capacities and Role in Matters of Great Significance for Them
How do decision-makers in the judiciary approach children’s capacities as set out in Article 5 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child? Children in public care who cannot be reunified with their birth parents may be adopted, but are children given agency in these cases that are highly important to the involved children? We examine all judgments on adoptions from care made in Norway in a six-year period (2011-2016) involving children aged 4-17 years old, a total of 169 judgments. These cases are decided after a two- to three-day hearing in the court-like County Board. The results of our analysis are discouraging because many children are absent in the decision-maker’s justification and conclusion about adoption. Young children do not have their capacity assessed, and older children’s capacity undergoes a shallow assessment at best, and typically only their opinion is mentioned. Age is commonly used as a proxy for competency and maturity, and the role children’s opinion plays in the cases as well as in the decision-making is unclear overall. Possible explanations for this situation may be lack of guidelines for how to give children agency, that decision-makers do not have sufficient competency in assessing children’s capabilities, and/or that decision-makers are not aware of their obligations or are not willing to give children agency.
Life Under Coronavirus: Children’s Views on their Experiences of their Human Rights
Children have a right to have their views sought and given due weight on all matters affecting them, including at times of emergency and crisis. This article describes the process and findings of the ground-breaking CovidUnder19 survey (“Life Under Coronavirus”) which was co-designed with children for children, capturing the experiences of over 26,000 children in 137 countries as to the realisation of their human rights during the first six months of the covid-19 pandemic. Key findings are discussed through the lens of the CRC’ s four general principles, read alongside children’s rights, inter alia, to education, play and to be protected from harm. It argues that governments and public bodies should have sought children’s views – not just because they were under an obligation to do so – but because such engagement, now and in crises to come, provides an early warning system that enables decision-makers to mitigate some of the adverse consequences of their responses for children and their rights.
Engaging Young People as Partners for Change: The UR Community Project
Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) declares that young people have the right to express views and to have these taken into account when decisions are made that affect them. Yet, children’s voices are still not universally heard in policy and operational discourses. In many areas of service delivery in particular, young people remain disenfranchised, in spite of evidence which attests to their desire positively to engage with adult decision makers. Challenging the apparent discordance between the rhetoric relating to young people’s decision making and reality (as perceived by children), this article offers a new and innovative template for researching with young people as partners for change in the specific context of research dissemination. Seeking to enhance understanding and influence practice, the article sheds some much-needed light on how participation rights can be made “real” at a local level.
‘Ask Us … This Is Our Country’: Designing Laws and Policies with Aboriginal Children and Young People
If asked, and asked in the appropriate circumstances, Aboriginal children and young people have much to say about governance, law and policy – particularly about matters that are likely to affect their lives. Findings from field research conducted in the Northern Territory of Australia reveal a group of Aboriginal children and young people’s views about why and how they could be involved in designing legislative provisions such as the Australian Government’s “Northern Territory Emergency Response” and Stronger Futures legislation – commonly referred to as the Intervention.These findings support the conclusion that in order to create culturally appropriate, durable and relevant laws and policies, governments must first seek, then incorporate, Aboriginal children and young people’s views when designing measures likely to affect their lives – and do so in a manner that is consistent with article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (crc).