Element 2 - Participation of Children, Youth and Civil Society

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Child and youth participation is about all children and young people having the opportunity to express their views and influence decision-making. Children’s participation is an informed and willing process of involvement of all children, including the most marginalised and those of different ages and abilities, in any matter concerning them either directly or indirectly. Children’s participation is a way of working and an essential child rights principle that cuts across all programs and takes place in all arenas - from homes to governments, from local to international levels. The NACC assessment found that in some countries child and youth participation in NACC activities had occurred through a range of participation opportunities and activities. Only one country had a child representative member on the NACC, and youth organisations were represented on NACCs and in Sub-committees in some countries. Child participation is a cornerstone of every child’s individual overall development. A child who lives in a family that listens to them, takes into account their ideas and opinions, and helps them to make decisions and take responsibility is more likely to participate in decisions affecting their community as they grow and develop. Equally, communities who value and listen to their children, encouraging them to take an active role in community life, will benefit from harmonious social development and the active citizenship of their children and young people.


Don Cipriani, Mereia Carling, Sandra Thompson

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