Minimum standards for consulting with children
Author: Inter-Agency Working Group on Children’s Participation
File size: 128kb
Number of pages: 44
The recognition of children’s right to give their opinions to adults making decisions on their behalf was one of the innovations of the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
These processes should be – and usually are – beneficial to children. Nevertheless, some experiences have been less successful than others and it has been suggested that children’s right to participate in events and meetings may be achieved at the expense of other rights, particularly their rights to be protected from risk and harm.
Although children’s presence in meetings has been extensively described, the processes through which their safety, health and effective participation have been assured have been less-well-documented.
Thus, the publication of the minimum standards for children’s participation in events and meetings away from their home base is particularly welcome. It includes a detailed operations manual containing practical guidance about how to achieve these standards, from the first invitation to a meeting to follow-up activities after children return home.
This is a major contribution to global efforts to increase the quality and effectiveness of children’s participation, based on systematic experiences in preparing children for meetings, facilitating representative selection of children, ways of involving them in adult discussions, modes of facilitating their contributions and including these in outcome documents.
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