Thursday, 17 January 2008

Children's participation in decision making: Why to do it, When to do it, How to do it

Children’s participation in decision making: Why do it, When to do it, How to do it

Published in Bangkok in 2007 by the Inter-Agency Working Group on Children’s Participation (IAWGCP): ECPAT International, Knowing Children,Plan International, Save the Children Sweden Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, Save the Children UK Southeast and East Asia Regional Office,UNICEF EAPRO and World Vision.

This concise and informative booklet has just been made available in PDF format. The publication clearly explains:

  • Why children's participation is increasingly accepted and promoted;
  • How children's participation should become part of the normal operation of governments, institutions and communities;
  • How children's participation is practiced throughout the world.

Children’s participation in decision making is an important tool for parliamentarians, national leaders and other decision makers as they put into practice greater involvement of children in decision making,

From the introduction:

“People’s participation in public decision making has become increasingly established in a variety of political systems. Children are now beginning to add their ideas and actions. Decision makers and opinion leaders are asking what children’s participation means and why it is essential.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), which has been ratified by all but two member states, establishes the rights of children in three important areas: provision, protection and participation. Everyone would surely agree that provision of health care, shelter and education is essential to children’s well-being. In recent years, governments and civil society – not forgetting the mass media – have focused on fulfilling children’s rights to protection from abuse, violence and exploitation. But participation is often seen as something new – and perhaps difficult to carry out.

This booklet shows how to put children’s participation into practice. It is for everyone in roles of public leadership and service, answering questions about how and when children’s participation is needed. Links to further resources are also provided.”

The Inter-Agency Working Group on Children’s Participation is a consortium of Bangkok-based organizations dedicated to promoting and implementing the meaningful and ethical participation of children in decisions made to further their rights and welfare. Member agencies are: ECPAT International, Knowing Children, Plan International, Save the Children Sweden SEAP, Save the Children UK SEEA, UNICEF EAPRO and World Vision Asia Pacific. The IAWGCP now has its own website where its publications can be downloaded.