Thursday, September 22, 2005
"Several provisions in the Convention on the Rights of the Child reflect children's right to participation. Article 12, in particular, reveals this special dimension. Participation is one of the guiding principles of the Convention, as well as one of its basic challenges. The principle affirms that children are full-fledged persons who have the right to express their views in all matters affecting them and requires that those views be heard and given due weight in accordance with the child's age and maturity. It recognizes the potential of children to enrich decision-making processes, to share perspectives and to participate as citizens and actors of change.
The Convention envisages a changed relationship between adults and children. Parents, teachers, caregivers and others interacting with children are seen no longer as mere providers, protectors or advocates, but also as negotiators and facilitators. Adults are therefore expected to create spaces and promote processes designed to enable and empower children to express views, to be consulted and to influence decisions." UNICEF, Convention on the Rights of the Child Link (last visited 9-21-05 NVS)