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The Centre's research into the issue of child participation goes back many years, with a Global Seminar on Participatory Development held at the Centre as early as 1990. Child participation - the child's right to be involved in decisions concerning him or her - is a unique aspect of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, enshrined in Article 12. In 2000 the Centre launched research into Article 5 of the Convention, which says that children should receive guidance on their rights in a way that reflects their growing maturity and their progress towards adulthood "in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child". While all the rights in the Convention apply to all children, whether they are babies, toddlers or adolescents, Article 5 acknowledges that their ability to absorb and act on information changes alongside their evolving capacities. What are the practical and programmatic implications of this principle? What does it mean in relation to parental responsibility or to cultural tradition? The study will examine how interpretations of the "evolving capacities of the child" could influence approaches to the implementation of child rights and will contribute to ongoing efforts to show how the Convention balances the rights of children and the rights of parents.
The Centre's research into the issue of child participation goes back many years, with a Global Seminar on Participatory Development held at the Centre as early as 1990. Child participation - the child's right to be involved in decisions concerning him or her - is a unique aspect of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, enshrined in Article 12. In 2000 the Centre launched research into Article 5 of the Convention, which says that children should receive guidance on their rights in a way that reflects their growing maturity and their progress towards adulthood "in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child". While all the rights in the Convention apply to all children, whether they are babies, toddlers or adolescents, Article 5 acknowledges that their ability to absorb and act on information changes alongside their evolving capacities. What are the practical and programmatic implications of this principle? What does it mean in relation to parental responsibility or to cultural tradition? The study will examine how interpretations of the "evolving capacities of the child" could influence approaches to the implementation of child rights and will contribute to ongoing efforts to show how the Convention balances the rights of children and the rights of parents.

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Dans cet Insight Innocenti, Gerison Lansdown examine l’article 12 de la Convention relative aux droits de l’enfant, selon lequel les enfants ont le droit de participer aux décisions qui les concernent. Lansdown se livre à une étude approfondie de la signification de cet article en tant qu’instrument au service des enfants pour protester contre les violations de leurs droits et agir pour défendre ces droits.

AUTHOR(S)

Gerison Lansdown
This Insight makes a strong case for listening to children, outlining the implications of failing to do so and challenging many of the arguments that have been levelled against child participation. It is, above all, a practical guide to this issue, with clear checklists for child participation in conferences and many concrete examples of recent initiatives.

AUTHOR(S)

Gerison Lansdown
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Project team

Nigel Cantwell