chapter  11
16 Pages

Children and young people’s participation: A critical consideration of Article 12

ByE. Kay M.Tisdall

Children and young people’s participation1 did not begin with the United Nations Convention on the Right of the Child (UNCRC). Children and young people’s involvement in decisionmaking, within their families and communities, can be traced historically: from children and young people’s involvement within their household subsistence, to children’s school strikes in the early twentieth century,2 to a child’s right to refuse or consent to being adopted in Scotland.3 But the UNCRC galvanised adults to recognise children and young people’s rights to participate, as part of a broader human rights agenda. This has encouraged changes in law, policy and practice to ensure children’s rights to be heard; advocacy has developed across different contexts, from education to child labour to juvenile justice; numerous projects have been initiated, to encourage children and young people ‘to have a say’ in their services, their communities and in policy-making.