Sunday 10 February 2008

Children as active citizens

The Inter-Agency Working Group on Children’s Participation (IAWGCP)has just published two publications on children’s citizenship:

Children as active citizens - a policy and programme guide for commitments and obligations for children’s civil rights and civic engagement in East Asia and the Pacific

Children as active citizens - an introductory booklet

The ‘Children as Active Citizens’ publications define children’s citizenship and show how children’s civil rights can be operationalised. The publications explain links between children’s citizenship and development goals, between children’s civil rights and their rights to survival, protection and development. Responsibilities of government and adults are clearly listed along with measurable results for children’s civil rights and active citizenship, including indicators for measuring children’s civil rights and citizenship.

Children as Active Citizens presents an agenda for the promotion of children’s civil rights and civic engagement:

Promoting a common understanding of children’s citizenship, civil rights and civic engagement;

Defining programme-specific implications for children’s civil rights and civic engagement (for example in education, child protection, communication, health, emergencies);

Developing global, regional or country-specific agendas for children’s citizenship and civil rights;

Developing systems for monitoring children’s civil rights and civic engagement;

Advocating for wider respect, protection and fulfilment of children’s civil rights, for example on issues of complaints mechanisms for children, early marriage, justice for children, and children’s right to information.

Contents of the booklet:

Introduction to children as active citizens

Birth and civil registration

Expression of opinion and involvement in decisions

Access to information

Complaints mechanisms

Justice for children

Civic engagement and competencies of citizens

Children and the media

Children influencing public decisions

Children-led associations

Content of the programme and policy guide:


Part One: Defining children’s citizenship and civil rights

What is citizenship?

Are children citizens?

Capacities for citizenship

Why are children’s civil rights and citizenship important?

Why have children’s citizenship rights been neglected?

An agenda for children’s citizenship and civil rights

Regional context for children’s citizenship and civil rights

References and resources

Part Two: Operationalizing children’s civil rights

1. Birth and civil registration

2. Children’s expression of opinion and control over decisions in daily life

3. Access to information

4. Feedback and complaints mechanisms

5. Justice for children

6. Economic citizenship and access to resources

Part Three: Developing and practicing active citizenship

7. Citizenship competencies and civic engagement

8. Children as active citizens in the media

9. Children influencing public decisions

10. Children-led associations


Indicator checklist for children’s citizenship and civil rights

Common myths about (and some risks in) children’s participation

Glossary and acronyms


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