Child Participation Assessment Tool

Author: Council of Europe
Category: Civil Rights and Freedoms

18th May 2016

This Assessment Tool provides specific and measurable indicators with which States can begin to measure progress in implementing Recommendation CM/Rec(2012)2 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on the participation of children and young people under the age of 18.

Adoption of the Recommendation (2012)2 by the Council of Europe is testimony to the significance attached by member States to the right of children to participate in decision-making. However, despite the centrality of child participation to the values of this Recommendation and the UNCRC, as well as to their effective implementation, it has been challenging for States to identify what measures are needed to achieve that goal. Furthermore, there have been few successful attempts, to date, to develop meaningful indicators against which States can begin to evaluate the extent to which it is implemented.

This Assessment Tool provides 10 basic indicators that are cross-cutting, rather than thematic, and reflect the three broad measures addressed in the Recommendation:

  • measures to protect the right to participate;
  • measures to promote the right to participate;
  • measures to create spaces for participation.

Accordingly, each one will have implications for many different government departments, and each department will have responsibilities in respect of many of the indicators. For example, departments for education and schools will need to address issues arising in relation to all three types of measure.

The Tool will enable States to:

  • raise awareness and understanding of children's right to participation;
  • undertake a baseline assessment of current implementation;
  • help identify measures needed to achieve further compliance;
  • highlight and share good practice;
  • measure progress over time.

The aim of the Tool is to support States in meeting the goals of the Recommendation (2012)2, and in so doing, fulfilling their obligations to children. It will also be of particular value in strengthening reporting on progress on implementing Article 12 to the Committee on the Rights of the Child. It is recognised that the indicators will require the collection of data that may not currently be readily available. They may also require additional analysis of existing data. This is unlikely to be achieved in the short term. It is important, therefore, to understand progress towards meeting the indicators as an incremental process.

It is hoped that States will share the Tool across government ministries, throughout local authority administrations, with the courts and judicial systems, with relevant professionals working with children and young people, with academic and civil society partners, and with organisations of and working for children and young people. The greater the transparency and openness in disseminating the Tool, the greater will be its effectiveness in creating a transformation in the right of children to be heard.