ABSTRACT

The Convention on the Rights of the Child recognizes that we should provide direction to a child’s right to freedom of thought ‘in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child’, and to the child’s freedom of expression ‘in accordance with the age and maturity of the child’. The drafters of the CRC were right to steer clear of trying to outline children’s development in a manner that would make sense to all the member nations of the United Nations. There are, however, some principles that have relevance across cultures in guiding our efforts to allow children to be involved in their communities to the extent of their capacities and their desires.1