Monday 10 May 2010

Heroes in Action: Child Advocates in South Africa

Children as advocates, involved in the development of the new Children's Bill in South Africa. This article in Children, Youth and Environments 17(3), 2007 is a case study reflecting on the experiences of the children to contribute their views and ideas to the legislative process.

Here is the abstract as presented in the journal:

Dikwankwetla – Children in Action is the name of an advocacy group of children who participated in the deliberations around the new Children’s Bill in South Africa. Their participation in a legislative process broadens the scope of venues for children’s participation, and challenges the discourse about child participation at a new level. It also raises important conceptual questions about the extent to which children can participate in legislative processes. This paper presents the efforts of Dikwankwetla as a case study, reflecting on its practice and challenges. It interrogates children’s agency in this process, and argues that childhood must be re-conceptualized to recognize that children are political actors in their environments. Looking at the concepts of power and representation, it recognizes the need for a shift in the adult-child relationship, from one based on control to one based on rights and responsibilities. More importantly, it reflects on the implications of facilitating children’s participation in the context of a developing country, where socio-economic and cultural conditions raise different challenges from those in the developed world.

And here is the report of the evaluation of the project by the Children's Institute in Cape Town:

Dikwankwetla – Children in Action Project Evaluation Workshop Report

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Henk, so thrilled to come across this blog site. thank you! will follow it with great interest and congratulations. i really appreciate your sharing of knowledge,data,research and real life examples.