Friday 5 October 2007

Children's participation in events with adults


Patricia del Pilar Horna Castro

Easier to say than to do. Children’s participation in events with adults.

2007, Lima: Save the Children Sweden Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean. ISBN 978-9972-696-50-3

This is a recent English translation of the Spanish original.

This is one of many downloadable publications by Save the Children Sweden in Latin America. They have an excellent, regularly updated, website with information in Spanish, English and Portuguese. I will post more information from this website shortly.

From the introduction to this book:

“Children’s participation is, without any doubt, a key issue in our societies. There is plenty and varied literature regarding children’s participation. The civil society and the States are now facing this global challenge. This guide, developed by Patricia Horna, is useful in many ways: it simultaneously introduces profound considerations, mandatory theoretical background, and above all, a friendly way to enhance the relationships between adults and children when they participate in the same activities.”

(Alejandro Cussianovich, p.7)

The book provides a review on the different approaches, conceptions and myths on children and adult participation in training workshops, seminars, discussion roundtables, etc.

“It is addressed to adults who have understood that they cannot speak about what children feel or think without considering and incorporating their very voices. And, of course, it will also be useful for children to keep watch so conditions in these events meet the conditions for a “real and effective” participation, just as they have demanded.

This material wants to contribute precisely to what many adults frequently hear, read, and say: children have a right to express themselves freely in every aspect which affects them —in other words, they have a right to participate.”


“….the book is divided in three chapters which are, at the same time, the three big steps we are proposing to follow. The first one displays the current approaches and ideas on children’s participation; the second refers to the myths around children’s participation in events with adults, and the third chapter provides guidelines, ideas and suggestions which will render conditions for an effective and active participation.”


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