Report: Conceptual Framework for Measuring Outcomes of Adolescent Participation

Date: 17th May 2019
Category: General measures of implementation, Child rights indicators, Child rights impact assessments


Adolescence is now increasingly recognised as a significant period in human development. It is also a life stage when young people begin to engage more actively in the exercise of their rights and to seek to influence more of the decisions that affect them.

Adolescence is a defining time in the development of a child that is characterised by rapid physical growth and neurological development, the onset of puberty, and sexual maturity – but these changes are not uniform.  Puberty can occur at different ages for boys and girls and brain functions develop at different rates.  Individual children therefore reach maturity at different ages. Adolescence is thus not easily defined: it is a social construct with different meanings and definitions for different children and in varying contexts.

This paper, in line with UNICEF’s mandate, adopts the approach taken by the Committee on the Rights of the Child in its General Comment No. 20 on the implementation of the rights of the child during adolescence, focusing on the period of childhood from 10 years until the 18th birthday.  Accordingly, it focuses on this older cohort of children within the definition of Article 1 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Read the full report here