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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Promoting children’s participation in democratic decision-making

In this Innocenti Insight, Gerison Lansdown examines the meaning of Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which says that children are entitled to participate in the decisions that affect them. Lansdown takes a close look at the full meaning of this Article as a tool that can help children themselves to challenge abuses of their rights and take action to defend those rights. She also stresses what the Article does not do. It does not, for example, give children the right to ride roughshod over the rights of others, particularly parents. The Insight makes a strong case for listening to children, outlining the implications of failing to do so and challenging many of the arguments that have been levelled against child participation. It is, above all, a practical guide to this issue, with clear checklists for child participation in conferences and many concrete examples of recent initiatives.

How Young People’s Participation in School Supports Achievement and Attainment

In the consultation, A Right Blether1, young people’s views suggested there was a need to know more about what might make schools fairer places. In response, Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young people said that he would research why some children and young people were able to do well in schools – despite a lack of money or other important things – while others did not.

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child In Child Friendly Language

The UNCRC is available in child-friendly language

“Rights” are things every child should have or be able to do. All children have the same rights. These rights are listed in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.  Almost every country has agreed to these rights. All the rights are connected to each other, and all are equally important. Sometimes, we have to think about rights in terms of what is the best for children in a situation, and what is critical to life and protection from harm. As you grow, you have more responsibility to make choices and exercise your rights.

Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures: Annual Reports

link to Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures: Annual Reports

Every 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 not included in discussions about issues that affect them.

This resource guide is a companion document to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child General Comment No. 12 on the ‘Right of the Child to be Heard’. As well as outlining their obligations to listen to children, it provides governments, NGOs, policy-makers and international agencies with practical guidance on how to include children’s views and opinions in different settings. It also explains how Article 12 links with other Articles of the UNCRC.

Every Child’s Right to be Heard provides:

• illustrative examples of laws and regulations, guidance and policy that have been adopted by some governments to give effect to the right embodied in Article 12

• practical guidance on how to create the opportunities for children to be heard

• evidence from research, for example, regarding the impact of children’s participation, or their concerns in particular settings

• illustrative examples from around the world of initiatives undertaken to enable children to participate in decisions and actions that affect them

• basic requirements for ensuring child participation that is ethical, safe and effective

• arguments to be made to demonstrate the positive outcomes associated with realising the right of children to be heard and taken seriously

(Text taken from the last page of the document)

Study on child participation in EU political and democratic life

The Commission has today published a study on child participation in EU political and democratic life, which shows limited opportunities for children to participate in EU political and democratic life. The opportunities that do exist are not always inclusive of all children, in particular those with disabilities, migrant backgrounds or from families at risk of poverty. The study advocates for more child-led initiatives and better training for adults to support children’s participation in political and democratic life. The study’s findings will feed into the Commission’s EU strategy on the rights of the child, which will be presented in coming weeks. Vice-President for Democracy and Demography, Dubravka Šuica said: A society is not complete without its children; the same applies if we conceive of a democratic society. The Strategy on the Rights of the Child is a priority for this Commission and a key opportunity to embed child participation in decision‑making at European, national and local levels. This study provides us with timely input into that Strategy, and insights into where progress is needed to both protect and uphold the rights of children.” The study looks at the situation in the EU and UK at national level, and in 10 countries at national and local level – with 12 case studies. In the course of this research, over 200 children and young people have shared their opinions and experiences in interviews and focus groups; while, with thanks to leading child rights agencies and organisations, the Commission has received over 10,000 online submissions from children on the forthcoming Strategy on the Rights of the Child. A full report on this consultation will be published on 23 February. To ensure that the study reaches all appropriate audiences, the Commission is also publishing a child-friendly version of the report and will publish a child friendly version of the Strategy.


This guide presents a set of resources for supporting the involvement of children with disabilityin research, as well as consultation, policy and service development, monitoring and evaluation.The information was developed as part of a two year research project that focused on the humanrights priorities of children with disability in two countries. The ‘Voices of Pacific Children withDisability: Identifying the needs and priorities of children with disability in Vanuatu and PapuaNew Guinea’ research project had a number of aims including the development of a method ofdata collection/communication with children with diverse disabilities to enable them to ‘speak’for themselves. The research was undertaken between 2013 and 2015 by Deakin University inpartnership with Save the Children, the Vanuatu Disability Promotion and Advocacy Association(DPA) and the PNG Assembly of Disabled Persons (PNG ADP). Researchers collected data from89 children with disability aged between 5 and 18 years living in both urban and rural areas inVanuatu and Papua New Guinea (PNG).

TAKE US SERIOUSLY! Engaging Children with Disabilities in Decisions Affecting their Lives

Evidence and Gap Map Research Brief UNICEF Strategic Plan 2018–2021 Goal Area 5

This research brief is one of a series of five briefs, which provide an overview of available evidence shown in the Campbell-UNICEF Mega-Map of the effectiveness of interventions to improve child well-being in low- and middle-income countries. These briefs summarize evidence as mapped against the five goal areas of UNICEF’s 2018–2021 Strategic Plan, although it is anticipated that they will also be useful for others working in the child well-being space.

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