The rights of adolescents: the most important articulation of adolescent rights since 1989

At the Palais de Nations in Geneva, the Committee on the Rights of the Child launched the most important articulation of adolescent rights since the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989. Significantly, the General Comment takes the strongest positions adopted so far by the UN in outlining how age-related legislation should be used, reformed and abolished in terms of governing the ability of adolescents to access services, make independent choices, and realise their rights. This article captures discussions from the launch, provides context and makes our own recommendations.

Youth Policy Working Paper 4: Exploring age-related legislation affecting children and youth

Timed to coincide with the launch of the “General Comment on Adolescence”, our final working paper of 2016 explores the debate surrounding age-related legislation. Minimum age definitions directly influence the realities of children, adolescents and young people: when they can make independent health choices, be tried and held in adult courts and prisons, access financial credit for business or consent to marriage. However, as this paper explores, there is a clear lack of uniformity – both in the debate amongst the child rights community and experienced by young people in reality.

Youth Policy Working Paper 3: Emerging trends for children, young people, and participation

The third working paper looks at recent trends in child and youth participation. It explores academic literature, recent publications and considers the relevance of traditional participation models – particularly seen in the rise of international youth structures, summits and events – against a wave social uprisings and civil unrest that has demonstrated young people’s willingness confront powerful regimes and institutions. Crucially, youth participation often lacks real power; but when it does, young people can drive real policy, institutional and social change.