What next? Ways forward for children’s and young people’s participation

Date: 7th January 2015
Category: Awareness-raising, Best interests of the child, Respect for the views of the child
Author: Carine Le Borgne

This research study, produced by Carine Le Borgne (doctoral researcher at the University of Edinburgh) presents a review of the key theoretical perspectives and practice in relation to children's and young people's participation.

The study sought to address two questions:

- What is the understanding in relation to children's rights to participate in collective decision-making within academia, practice and policy?
- How can World Vision use this understanding to strengthen children and young people's participation from both a development and an advocacy perspective?

The research is based on two main sources of information: an extensive literature review with an emphasis on theories and models of children's and young people's participation and an analysis of a survey of six world-leading participation experts in the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

It is the hope that this study will provide a solid rationale to continue to work towards shifting the preconceptions of children as passive subjects or mere recipients of aid towards the reality of children as active agents. Children and young people are not only capable of proposing and joining in the implementation of solutions to problems that affect them; they are a necessary part of these solutions. Underlying this rationale and providing a framework for its delivery is Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), which requires that every child must have their right to participate in decisions affecting them protected, respected and fulfilled.