General Comment on Adolescence
Adolescence is a life stage characterized by growing opportunities, capacities, aspirations, energy and creativity, but also significant vulnerability. Adolescents are agents of change and a key asset and resource with the potential to contribute positively to their families, communities and countries. Globally, adolescents engage positively in many spheres, including health and education campaigns, family support, peer education, community development initiatives, participatory budgeting and creative arts, and make contributions towards peace, human rights, environmental sustainability and climate justice. Many adolescents are at the cutting edge of the digital and social media environments, which form an increasingly central role in their education, culture and social networks, and hold potential in terms of political engagement and monitoring accountability.
The “General Comment on the implementation of the rights of the child during adolescence”, published by the Committee on the Rights of the Child, builds on the definitions outlined in the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child and advocates for specific minimum ages as well as for the removal of other age limits entirely. The paper provides guidance to States “on the legislation, policies and services needed to promote comprehensive adolescent development consistent with the realization of their rights.”