Children and Young People’s Participation: A critical consideration of Article 12

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) has galvanised adults to recognise children and young people’s rights to participate, as part of a broader human rights agenda. Yet the UNCRC’s Article 12, and children and young people’s participation more generally, has been particularly hard to implement. The chapter first explores definitions and typologies of children and young people’s participation, in light of the UNCRC and the children’s rights literature. The chapter then looks at two examples of children and young people’s participation: first, in family law proceedings and, secondly, in school councils. The chapter concludes by discussing the limitations as well as the potential of the concept and practices of participation. Some of the problems so frequently found by children and young people’s participation arise from top-down, tokenistic and/or instrumentalist participation – which can narrow the agenda, suppress dissent, and at worse control children and young people. If there is growing recognition that children’s rights should be seen as children’s human rights and thus part of the broader human rights agenda, then more radical notions of children and young people’s involvement in their social, economic, cultural and political contexts are needed than Article 12 of the UNCRC.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge International Handbook of Children’s Rights Studies
EditorsWouter Vandenhole, Ellen Desmet, Didier Reynaert, Sara Lembrechts
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge
Pages185-200
ISBN (Electronic)9781315769530
ISBN (Print)978-1-13-802370-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2015

Keywords

  • children's rights
  • participation

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